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Re: Kayaking in JC
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HPYC wrote:
Kayakers - looking up info on the restricted waters around Liberty/Ellis (150 yards BTW), I found this:

http://www.meetup.com/hvhikers/events/133877252/

Could be a cool trip. Unfortunately, it's also full-up, but maybe there are others like it.


Jeez, that sounds like a LOT of paddling! Maybe it's not as bad as it sounds in a 14'+ true fiberglass touring boat, I wouldn't know.

Posted on: 2013/8/21 15:34
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Kayakers - looking up info on the restricted waters around Liberty/Ellis (150 yards BTW), I found this:

http://www.meetup.com/hvhikers/events/133877252/

Could be a cool trip. Unfortunately, it's also full-up, but maybe there are others like it.

Posted on: 2013/8/21 14:30
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JWave - I "think" in the immediate LSP waters the only restricted areas are the no-go zones marked around Liberty and Ellis islands. They are marked with white can bouys and if you cross over, some kind of law enforcement boat will be all over you immediately.

Brewster and other more regular paddlers can add/edit this comment.

Posted on: 2013/8/21 14:23
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Are there any areas around LSP that are restricted to paddlers? I am contemplating getting a SUP to use locally and would appreciate any input.

Posted on: 2013/8/21 9:04
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bodhipooh wrote:
I am thinking about giving it a try once a week to see how it goes.

I'd love to read about how it goes if you do!
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It is mostly for fun and the sheer challenge of the whole thing. Paddling (even in busy, or non-optimal, conditions) is relaxing to me, just like commuting by bicycle is fun and relaxing to me (despite the crazy, aggressive drivers, and clueless pedestrians.)

Yeah, I enjoy my CitiBike rides to and from the PATH, and I love to try to challenge myself to be more and more self-reliant and self-propelled.

Posted on: 2013/8/20 21:00
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Re: Kayaking in JC
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bodhipooh wrote:
100% agreed, Brewster. And, I wasn't trying to be contrarian. Quite the opposite. I find your posts to be well reasoned and logically laid out.

I was simply adding another perspective on the idea of commuting by kayak. Personally, I am thinking about giving it a try once a week to see how it goes. It is mostly for fun and the sheer challenge of the whole thing. Paddling (even in busy, or non-optimal, conditions) is relaxing to me, just like commuting by bicycle is fun and relaxing to me (despite the crazy, aggressive drivers, and clueless pedestrians.) Maybe I just enjoy adrenaline pumping.


To each their own! I find whitewater "adrenalized relaxing", but I find a "death march paddle" in howling wind and breaking chop just to be a draining slog. Could it be it doesn't scare me enough? I think my son was a bit rattled.

Posted on: 2013/8/20 20:21
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100% agreed, Brewster. And, I wasn't trying to be contrarian. Quite the opposite. I find your posts to be well reasoned and logically laid out.

I was simply adding another perspective on the idea of commuting by kayak. Personally, I am thinking about giving it a try once a week to see how it goes. It is mostly for fun and the sheer challenge of the whole thing. Paddling (even in busy, or non-optimal, conditions) is relaxing to me, just like commuting by bicycle is fun and relaxing to me (despite the crazy, aggressive drivers, and clueless pedestrians.) Maybe I just enjoy adrenaline pumping.

Posted on: 2013/8/20 17:21
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Re: Kayaking in JC
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bodhipooh wrote:
Despite Brewster's well reasoned post, I am going to provide a slightly different opinion.

I think commuting by kayak is doable, and fun. An inflatable might be a stretch, because it will require more effort, but it is doable.

There are already some people that commute by kayak. Gothamist ran a piece on some school teacher who does it on a daily basis (link) and I read elsewhere about a pair of dudes that also paddle across the Hudson several times a week.


I didn't say it wasn't doable, I mostly said it wasn't practical as a DAILY commute, even by a pretty generous definition. Just the way most of us don't consider biking to work in Midtown via the GWB practical, though we've read about people that do it. At least that trip goes door to door, skipping the whole issue of where do you leave your boat, and getting from the riverside to your actual workplace and getting a shower and change of clothes. It's not like you're going to do a 007 and step from a drysuit fresh and pressed in your tux!

Posted on: 2013/8/20 17:14
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Despite Brewster's well reasoned post, I am going to provide a slightly different opinion.

I think commuting by kayak is doable, and fun. An inflatable might be a stretch, because it will require more effort, but it is doable.

There are already some people that commute by kayak. Gothamist ran a piece on some school teacher who does it on a daily basis (link) and I read elsewhere about a pair of dudes that also paddle across the Hudson several times a week.

Posted on: 2013/8/20 16:31
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brewster wrote:
If a big wind is with the current, you'll be catching a train downtown from the 72nd street boat basin!


I actually wouldn't mind that too much; I used to kayak around there a bit years ago.


Funny, I was in Mitsuwa in Edgewater a few weeks ago and there was a group of people shopping in paddling gear. Turns out they had kayaked over from the 72nd st basin for dinner!

Posted on: 2013/8/20 16:29
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Re: Kayaking in JC
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brewster wrote:
If a big wind is with the current, you'll be catching a train downtown from the 72nd street boat basin!


I actually wouldn't mind that too much; I used to kayak around there a bit years ago.

Anyway, purely a pipe dream for now.

HPYC: A real anchor and long line, yes, thanks, sounds like a must.

Posted on: 2013/8/20 15:06
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Bring a small anchor and lots of line just in case. A 5 lb dumbell attached to a nylon line with a bowline knot held just fine in Manahawkin Bay. For the harbor I would think a grapnel anchor and a lot more line would be needed - and don't anchor in the channel!

Posted on: 2013/8/20 14:35
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Are we having fun yet


Not yet! Thanks for the advice.

If I ever tried it, I surely wouldn't think of it as a reliable commuter route, just as a rare adventure on a summer day with the best weather and currents.

One thing in the inflatable's favor, as another poster pointed out, is that if (OK, when) I got blown off course or redirected by currents and had to land somewhere unexpected, I could still just put my boat in my bag on my back and take a subway or light rail or bus home.

You know, if I didn't drown first.

Posted on: 2013/8/20 14:28
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Serious (but maybe silly) question: So I have paddled in a variety of kayaks in rivers, lakes, ocean surf, etc., though I am no expert. I also have no car, so I'm thinking of buying an inflatable kayak for low-key paddling near our shores.

But: Do we think it would ever be possible for me to CROSS the Hudson safely in an inflatable? To use it as transportation to NYC? Obviously only under safe wind/weather conditions, and taking tides/currents into account. Just think of the savings in PATH fares!!

Does anyone on here cross in such wee vessels? Or would motor traffic and currents just be too murderous?

And to ask this another way: What's the smallest/least stable self-propelled watercraft that any of y'all has known to cross the river to Manhattan safely?


Possible, yes. Captain Bligh crossed 3,618 miles of the Pacific in a 23 foot rowboat with 19 people aboard. Advisable on a regular? No.

Never mind the currents, the wind is over 10 kts as often as not, and often hits 20. Like I just posted, in a very seaworthy hardboat it was impressively hard to this paddler of 2 decades just getting from Liberty to the LSP launch in a fairly moderate 13 kt blow.

And then there's the currents, peaking at 2.8 kts. A rec kayak can probably go 4 or 5 kts, but an inflatable is slower. So in high current you'll be paddling perhaps twice as far as the dead reckoning distance to best the current if the wind isn't helping you by blowing the other way. If a big wind is with the current, you'll be catching a train downtown from the 72nd street boat basin! (from my recent observations the big wind is always from the S) We haven't even talked about river traffic. Add in getting to work sweaty and salty. Are we having fun yet, and is it worth saving the PATH fare?


Posted on: 2013/8/20 0:54
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Posted on: 2013/8/19 23:40
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Serious (but maybe silly) question: So I have paddled in a variety of kayaks in rivers, lakes, ocean surf, etc., though I am no expert. I also have no car, so I'm thinking of buying an inflatable kayak for low-key paddling near our shores.

But: Do we think it would ever be possible for me to CROSS the Hudson safely in an inflatable? To use it as transportation to NYC? Obviously only under safe wind/weather conditions, and taking tides/currents into account. Just think of the savings in PATH fares!!

Does anyone on here cross in such wee vessels? Or would motor traffic and currents just be too murderous?

And to ask this another way: What's the smallest/least stable self-propelled watercraft that any of y'all has known to cross the river to Manhattan safely?

Posted on: 2013/8/19 22:50
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HPYC wrote:
The good thing about the inflatable is that, if I did get blown up to the marina, I could fold it up, pack it in its bag, and walk home through the mall with it. People would think I had just had a very damp shopping spree.


That's a serous advantage, no doubt. You can end up in Port Imperial and just pop on the Light Rail!

Posted on: 2013/8/19 20:01
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The good thing about the inflatable is that, if I did get blown up to the marina, I could fold it up, pack it in its bag, and walk home through the mall with it. People would think I had just had a very damp shopping spree.

Posted on: 2013/8/19 19:20
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On a more amateur note; I had my new blow-up kayak out a few times in the last couple of weeks - in the Sedge Islands at IBSP and in Manahawkin Bay.

I can report that the boat carried me (and a passenger in some cases) safely around with no sinkings or other mishaps.

With the skeg, which I had to buy separately, it seems to track pretty well - just as well as some hard kayaks, in my limited experience. The only caveat to that is wind. It does seem to behave more like a sail or a blimp than a hard boat would.

Can't wait to get it out in LSP!


Just be sure about the wind! My son and I were out Friday in midday when I had carefully scoped the wind and weather. We had a nice paddle but it took us several hours to find the fish, by which time we were S of Liberty I. and the S wind and rising tide were screaming! It was a quite a paddle just to get back to LSP, with crossing waves breaking over our gunnels. In inflatables I wonder if we would have made it or been blown up to the marina! I do need to figure out a skeg for the 12' whitewater boat, the boy's a good paddler but it was harder than it needed to be. But I have a week, we just dropped him off in New Hampshire for a week of backpacking. He's made of tough stuff.

PH, those charts are also available in a NOAA pdf

Posted on: 2013/8/19 16:21
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On a more amateur note; I had my new blow-up kayak out a few times in the last couple of weeks - in the Sedge Islands at IBSP and in Manahawkin Bay.

I can report that the boat carried me (and a passenger in some cases) safely around with no sinkings or other mishaps.

With the skeg, which I had to buy separately, it seems to track pretty well - just as well as some hard kayaks, in my limited experience. The only caveat to that is wind. It does seem to behave more like a sail or a blimp than a hard boat would.

Can't wait to get it out in LSP!

Posted on: 2013/8/19 16:04
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Re: Kayaking in JC
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For anyone that's interested, I downloaded hi-res NOAA charts for the Upper and Lower Harbor. You can download them by clicking below and zooming in a few times to get to the originals, which are about 15mb a piece.  

http://s1256.photobucket.com/user/paulushooker/library/


Posted on: 2013/8/18 5:45
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Funny, I saw 36th st and made the jump without reading the name. New World tackle is in Bayonne. I've spent many hours in Capitol, I drop in frequently as I have a client near their current location, and many years ago when they were on 23rd I lived across the street!

I got kinda frustrated with the Asian guy who works there and kayak guides out at Montauk. I explained that while I was sure I'd have a great time and catch lots of fish with him, I wanted to learn how to fish my HOME waters. He was dismissive of fishing the harbor, "you got to go where the fish are, and that's Montauk". I said BS, there's fish here, and I live on a freaking peninsula.

Posted on: 2013/8/15 22:57
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No, Capital Bait is on 36th Street in Manhattan, real close to Path and real easy to get to after work.

Posted on: 2013/8/15 21:49
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You have a boat but no car? I guess that's kinda urban nautical cool. How is Bwy & 36th in Bayonne easier than Palisade & South? If you're Downtown I believe there's Jitneys that go up Newark and Palisade.

Posted on: 2013/8/15 21:22
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I've been to Moe's and he is certainly a nice guy, just wish he was closer to pubic transit/easier to get to.

Posted on: 2013/8/15 20:25
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tommyc_37 wrote:
There are fluke at Robbins Reef. Yeah, the owner of the aquarium store is a fisherman himself and said he is hoping to offer bait soon. Weird yes, but there is no other place to get bait around here which is odd considering there are 3 marinas. Capital Bait & Tackle on 36th Street is usually my spot.


I'm up in the Heights frequently and am fond of Moe's even though the shop is tiny, he's a JC character and usually has fresh bunker when they're to be had. I liked some of the guys at Har-Lee too, I think that storefront is STILL empty.

Posted on: 2013/8/15 20:19
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There are fluke at Robbins Reef. Yeah, the owner of the aquarium store is a fisherman himself and said he is hoping to offer bait soon. Weird yes, but there is no other place to get bait around here which is odd considering there are 3 marinas. Capital Bait & Tackle on 36th Street is usually my spot.

Posted on: 2013/8/15 19:44
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Re: Kayaking in JC
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tommyc_37 wrote:
In fishing news, the Aquarium store on Jersey Avenue might start selling frozen bait soon - clam, squid, spearing, etc.


Are you serious? That sounds bizarre.

I was going to head out this afternoon with the boy but it looks like the wind is picking up, 10-14 kt now. Gonna try tomorrow late morning couple of hrs past hi tide to use your current charts to plan a trip S over the flats towards the Bayonne shipping channels. I don't think I'll try to go as far as Robins Reef with him along.

It's weird that the Bay Ridge Flats have such a fishing reputation but the equivalent flats on our side get no mentions. We'll see if there's any fluke there.

Posted on: 2013/8/15 19:26
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In fishing news, the Aquarium store on Jersey Avenue might start selling frozen bait soon - clam, squid, spearing, etc.

Posted on: 2013/8/15 19:14
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Good creative ideas, I will have to do the phone thing.

Posted on: 2013/8/13 22:50
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