Delaware River Rafting

Most of my paddling is what can be called “flatwater” kayaking. I put my boat in the water someplace, paddle for a while, turn around, and then get off the water in the same place I launched. It’s not that the water doesn’t move, just that there’s no overwhelming, one-way current that prevents me from returning to where I started. Even when I get on the waves with my surf kayak, I can return to my parking spot. Where I put in is where I need to take out.

Barryville base

Whitewater boaters leave a vehicle where they plan to end up, then drive upriver to their launch point. Two vehicles and drivers opens all kinds of possibilities. My only experience with this was years ago when I brought my sit-on-top surf kayak on a Lake George vacation with me.

Continue reading

Nyack Kayak and the Concrete Barge

It seems like anywhere I paddle around the metro area, I come across the remains of an abandoned boat. On the Rondout’s Creek in Kingston, in Piermont Marsh, the Middle Bay on Long Island, there’s always a long abandoned hulk, usually so old that the hull has been eaten to the water line. Sometimes all that’s left is an old V8 sticking out of the mud at low tide, watching the years go by as it slowly rusts to nothing.

One of the most baffling examples sits in the middle of “my zone” — the west shore of the Tappan Zee in Rockland County. Right in Nyack, yards away from the marina sits a deteriorating hunk of concrete in the unmistakable shape of a ship. I’ve always been intrigued by the wrecks I’ve encountered but this one fascinates me the most.

Continue reading

Esopus Island Paddle

I’ve had the idea of kayaking around Esopus Island stuck in my head all summer. I first became aware of it when I was perusing a map, looking for new spots to paddle. It sits in the Hudson River, near Hyde Park, very close to easy launch spots on either side of the river, at Mills Norrie State Park and Esopus Meadows Preserve.

kayak launch

I read up on the history of the place. The number of articles online surprised me a little. I found all the normal historical stuff typical of the Hudson Valley. It was presumed to be used by the Lenape Indians before white settlement of the area. The British anchored their fleet there before attacking Kingston during the Revolutionary War. Called Pell Island, it was part of a large estate owned by a wealthy guy named Pell.

Continue reading