Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Winterization Blues - A Sailor's Depression

Solitary sailor upon the sea, as seen through
one of the lenses of my binoculars
This is my first winter as the owner of a sailboat. Warmer than average temperatures in mid-November and a mid-November sailing outing lulled me into postponing starting to winterize my 1983 C&C 24 until early December. Even though I will be keeping the boat in the water all winter, as the previous owner had done, there was still some work required before winter’s freezing temperatures set in.

My first winterization required two half-day workdays. On the first day, I cleaned the cabin, bilge, and storage compartments. I also added antifreeze to the fresh and salt water lines, spending most of my time winterizing the head. None of these tasks, however, made the boat un-sailable. Fortunately, I completed these tasks before the first hard freeze.

On my second day, I not only added a second bow line and spring line but also fogged the outboard, removed both sails, and removed most of the running rigging, rendering the boat un-sailable without an equal amount of pre-sail work.

I have never owned a vacation home in the mountains or at the beach, or anywhere else for that matter, but now I think I can empathize with how owners of vacation homes might feel after closing up their getaway for the season. Nearing the end of my second workday, I felt like I was saying goodbye to a good friend before leaving on a long trip, and we did not know when we would see each other again. No longer would I be able to drive the 20-30 minutes to the dock, and within another 15-20 minutes have the boat rigged and out on the water. Winter had not yet set in and I was already thinking about – dreaming about – sailing next spring, perhaps as soon as April, or even March.

My winterization blues intensified yesterday when, from the sixth floor window of a beachfront timeshare at Virginia Beach, I looked out over the ocean and saw a lone sailboat out on the water. I picked up my binoculars, lying nearby, and focused on this solitary sailor on the sea. As inches of snow and ice from a recent storm were still covering the beach and boardwalk, some sailor and crew were enjoying a post storm sail on a nearly glassy sea bathed in sunshine, and I wished I were out on the water with them.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Return to Narnia: Review of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Marquis Poster
It has been over thirty years since I last read The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.  So when my wife and I went to see The Voyage of the Dawn Treader in 3-D yesterday, we did not remember all the details of the story and in some ways, it was like returning Narnia after a long absence. Fortunately, time in Narnia is not the same as time in our world.

The casting of the character that played Eustace, and his performance, were superb. We hated the character from the first frame in which he appeared. By the end of the film, his transformation was complete, a transformation evidenced in both his face and his demeanor.

The same actors who played the characters of Edmund and Lucy in the first two films reprised their roles. With a few more years on them, they fit perfectly into the story, which is set after the first two films.

We had seen the previous two movies on the big screed but this was the first one we saw in 3-D. While the 3-D certainly added depth, it seemed not to be exploited for shock effect. I do not remember, for instance, any swords, arrows, dragons or sea monsters flying out toward the audience, which in my opinion, was just as well. While the world of Narnia is certainly a fantasy world and a world of magic where good and evil often battle, it is not a world where 3-D would be used for any other reason than to tell a good story. I am not a big 3-D fan and I wonder what our experience would have been different if the film had not been presented in 3-D.

By the end of the film, I was saddened to leave Narnia behind and to return to the shadow lands where the work of the White Witch was still covering roads and walkways.

I heard a few weeks ago that while The Voyage of the Dawn Treader opened at number one, it was a weaker opening compared to the first two films. I hope it is grossing enough to bring at least one more film, if not all four waiting for the big screen, into production. This classic tale deserves to have all seven installments available for viewing if the remaining four are produced with the same artistry as the first three.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Review of First Aid Afloat . . . Mate

When I ordered First Aid Afloat, prepublication and sight unseen, I did not realize that the publisher, Wiley Nautical, was a British Publisher. I encountered the first giveaway on page 18, when I read, “Heart disease is the main cause of death in the United Kingdom.” While British-isms abound in this 127 page paperback, the only time the British bias is a detriment is on pages 108-109, where all the directions for obtaining radio medical advice refers to the Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth, and the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, and where all the references to the “coastguard” are to the British coastguard.

I am new to sailing, having bought my first sailboat only a few months ago. One of the first things I did after buying the 24 footer was to assemble a first aid kit.

While I might be new to sailing, I am not new to first aid or emergency medicine. In my younger years I was an American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor and held various ARC First Aid certifications as well as both ARC and American Heart Association CPR certifications. I was a Nationally Registered Emergency Medical Technician and worked as a professional EMT for nine months. Therefore, I knew the importance of having a well-stocked first aid kit aboard my sail boat, and I know how to use everything in it.

I bought First Aid Afloat not so that I could read it and use it in an emergency, but so that I could put in my boat’s first aid kit for other people to use in case I was not on board or I was sick or injured and could not render first aid to myself. Not overly technical and written and illustrated clear enough for the layperson, First Aid Afloat could very save a life, includingmy own.

What I like most about this book is that it is small boat specific. Both a powerboat and a sailboat appear on the cover, but neither is large. The text assumes one is aboard a small yacht. This is most obvious on page 54, where the text reads, “Commercially available splints for the leg are available, but tend to be bulky, and would tie up too much space on board a small yacht to be carried as part of the emergency kit."

A couple other examples of the small boat specificity of the text are on page 106. “When moving a causality, particularly in the small confined spaces on a yacht, you must consider personal and causality safety, the condition of the causality, manpower and equipment on board, and basic principles of lifting and moving.” Also “Improvisation is useful. For example, a stretcher can be fashioned from jackets and dinghy oars. The oars can be placed through the jacket sleeves with jacket fronts closed around them to create the stretcher, but always test that it will take the casualty’s weight before using it.”

There are probably more books about emergency first aid than could fit on a small boat, including many about first aid in wilderness and backcountry settings as well as first aid manuals specifically aimed toward recreational boaters and professional mariners. I find this slim volume complete enough for the small sailboat I own, one that will probably be limited to day cruises, or no more than an overnight cruise, and probably never out of radio range or more than a few hours from shore. It might even be the only first aid manual I keep in my boats first aid kit.

The list price of First Aid Afloat, by Sandra Roberts, is $26.95, but I bought it from Amazon.Com for $17.95.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

About the December 2010 Header Photo

This month's header photo is a recent one, less than a week old. I shot this looking south from Bear Hill in the Bear Hill Nature Preserve, Ulster, Co., NY, the morning of Thanksgiving.
Hiking around the southern Shawangunks has become sort of a Thanksgiving tradition the past couple of years, and this year was no exception. Since I do not get to the mountains as much as I would like, these Thanksgiving hikes have provided me with several "summit" photos that I have used for headers.

1,950 feet above sea level is barely worth claiming as a summit, even by eastern standards, but when one lives near sea level, it sometimes has to do.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Bear Hill

Signs at the Bear Hill entrance
Thanksgiving morning I enjoyed a short walk to and around the Bear Hill Nature Preserve.

After a fifteen to twenty minute walk from our friends' house in Cragsmoor, where we were staying for Thanksgiving, Justin, Myrrhlyn and I arrived at the Bear Hill Nature Preserve. As we walked into the preserve, we passed by some of Cragsmoor’s older as well as newer homes. All reminders of civilization eventually passed from view, however, as we walked further into the preserve.

A few minutes later some small outcroppings of boulders appeared through the trees to our right. Never having been to Bear Hill before, I thought that we had arrived at our destination. We had not.

The three of us, two humans and a canine, continued walking until the distant horizon came into view though a cut in the trees created by the trail. For a while, it looked like the trail might end in a sudden drop off. As we crested a small rise, I could see, though, that the trail did not end at a drop off but at a “T” intersection. Justin suggested we turn left, and we did.

The view from rocky Bear Hill
Some more hiking brought us to the real Bear Hill, an outcropping of lichen encrusted silurian conglomerate typical of the Shawangunks. Offering a spectacular 180-degree southern and western view, we explored the area, climbing over slabs and boulders, jumping across and climbing down into and back up crevices. The deepest chimney like crevice we explored was must have been a hundred feet from top to bottom. As we climbed through the rock and boulder strewn formation, sometimes passing over, under and around large and small boulders edged into the chimney, I had visions of the movie 127 hours. We climbed down and back up, however, without incident.

At an elevation of 1,950 feet, the Summit of Bear Hill is no eastern Everest. Its commanding view over the lowlands to the south and west, combined with its exposed rocky ruggedness, suggests an elevation much higher.

While the nearby Sam’s Point Nature Preserve offers many more miles of hiking trails, far more flora and fauna, and a slightly higher elevation, I think the Bear Hill preserve offers a better view and far better rocks for scrambling. I am glad that this most recent Thanksgiving we explored it rather than hiking trails I have already hiked in the Sam’s Point Preserve.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Lectionary Ruminations Coming to Summit to Shore Every Thursday

This photo will accompany every
Lectionary Ruminations post.
For the past several months, I have been contributing the "Lectionary Ruminations" post on the Presbyterian Bloggers blog. I will continue to do for the near future, but beginning this coning Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, I will begin cross positing the same "Lectionary Ruminations" here at Summit to Shore.

Climbing, kayaking and sailing readers of Summit to Shore might not find these every Thursday posts of much interest. Then again, who knows? However, Presbyterian as well as religiously and spiritually minded readers might want to read the every Thursday posts for the own edification and /or to prepare for participating in or leading Sunday Worship or lectionary based Bible studies.

While I have been positng this every Thursday column at Presbyterian Bloggers for some time, Lectionary Ruminations will become the first regular and weekly post on Summit to Shore.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

Theater Poster
 Less than three weeks after visiting Hogwarts, my wife and I were sitting in a theater watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 1. This seventh installment in the Harry Potter movie franchise did not disappoint us.

I am NOT the world’s biggest Harry Potter Fan. I have not read any of the books. I have seen all the movies however, some more than once. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy occupy the top spot on my list of all time fantasy favorites, followed by C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia and Frank Herbert’s Dune, all of which I have read. Even the Star War’s films and Star Trek in all its television and film permutations, excluding Enterprise, fall on my list before Harry Potter.

My wife, on the other hand, is a BIG fan. She has purchased most of the books the day they were released and finished reading them within a few days of their release. She knows the Harry Potter characters and story line much better than I do. Because she is such a Harry Potter fan, we have seen moist of the films on their day of their release.

We bought our tickets for the 7:00 PM show in advance over the internet. When we arrived at the theater, more than thirty minutes before the show, there was no line. My wife popped her credit card in the pre-sale kiosk and immediately our two tickets spit out.

By the time we rode two escalators to the third floor auditorium the doors had just opened and people were walking into the theater. We located two seats near the center front, two or three rows back. The seats were large, comfortable, and included cup holders at the end of the armrest.

After previews and commercials, the theater darkened, the sound came up, and the movie started around 7:15 PM.

During the film, the woman next to me gasped several times and almost jumped out her seat once. A man behind me audibly cursed at one of the characters and sighed a couple times when all seemed lost. The audience seemed engaged. When the credits started rolling, however, there was no applause as I have witnessed at other movies. I did not hear any audible comments, pro or con.

I enjoyed the movie and only a couple of times had to ask my wife about a character or place I was not sure about. She loved it and claimed that the film contained more of the book than the other films. Apparently, by dividing the book into two films, less of the book was cut out. The only thing she really missed was the internal monologue of the character’s thoughts provided by the book which the film does not try to recreate.

I am actually looking forward to the final installment because I am still not sure whether Severes Snape is a good guy or a bad guy.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Guests Without Gusts

Tony and Dottie
My wife and I recently passed a couple more sailing milestones when we sailed (sort of) for the seventh time a C&C 24 named Mischief. One landmark we passed was that we have now sailed Mischief more times than we sailed the J/24’s during our sailing class. The other highlight of our most recent trip was that it was the first time we sailed with guests aboard.
Having sailed a dozen times under various conditions I finally felt comfortable enough with our experience and skills to invite some friends aboard the Mischief for a sail on Jamaica Bay. Walter, Dottie, Tony and Fran arrived as planned to join us for a wonderfully sunny and warm afternoon on the water. The wind, forecasted to be between 6-8 miles an hour, failed to show up however.
While nearby JFK International Airport recorded winds up to 4.8 mph, we barely enjoyed a breeze and relied more on the outboard motor than the sails to maneuver. A single small gust lasting about 15 minutes did help propel as northward though Jamaica Bay but was all too short-lived. Even though there was not much wind, the glassy smooth surface of Jamaica Bay combined with a deep blue sky and warm sunshine combined to leave us with excellent memories of our first sail with guests. The other memorable event from the afternoon was passing a lone seal in Mill Basin both as we motored out to Jamaica Bay and motored back in at the end of the day.
Walter and Fran
As soon as the sun rested upon the western horizon I turned on the running lights, started up the motor and headed back to the slip. Now that fall has arrived and daylight savings time has ended, the nights are not only longer and coming sooner, there is less twilight between day and night. By the time we drifted into the slip the half moon was shining brightly and we flaked the mainsail, tied off the lines, and closed up the boat in the dark.
During the afternoon sail, everyone but yours truly enjoyed some red wine, supplied by Tony. As the Captain and helmsman, I abstained. After Mischief was secure in the slip at the end of the day, however, I broke out a bottle of Captain Morgan, filled six shot glasses, and we all toasted a fine afternoon on the water. I think ending each sail with a shot of rum will become a Mischief tradition.
Tony, Dottie, Vicki and Walter
It was appropriate that Tony, Fran, Walter and Dottie were our first guests aboard the Mischief because all four, but especially Walter and Tony, have been instrumental in helping my wife and I experience Jamaica Bay via kayaks. Tony is the recently elected Commodore of the Sebago Canoe Club and Walter is the club's is kayaking chair.  Some of my favorite paddling memories are memories of paddling on Jamaica Aby with Tony and Walter.
Upon leaving Kings Plaza Marina, we three couples rendezvoused at Nick’s Lobster House, along the banks of Mill Basin, and enjoyed a post sail dinner together. I think dinner at Nicks has already become a post sailing tradition for Vicki and me.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Backyard Fall

Autumn has finally arrived in New York City, at least the vibrant leaf colors I usually associate with fall, and particularly in the little corner of Queens that is our backyard. Recently one morning I opened the back door so that I could take food and water out to the cat. Flaming yellow leaves of the single maple tree growing in our small patch of urban wilderness greeted me, foliage brilliantly illuminated by the morning Sun to the southeast, vibrant translucent gold set against a cloudless dark blue patch of sky that hinted of winter.

Some trees in my Ridgewood neighborhood have already lost most, if not all, their leaves. Other trees are still dressed in full green, holdouts against the season. The tree in our back yard falls into the middle of the spectrum, still holding on to most of its leaves but every leaf offering its previously hidden pigment. If its leaves were fiery red, I would claim the tree was a descendant of Moses’s burning bush, aflame but not consumed. Its leaves are golden yellow however, suggesting this particular tree ought to be sitting at the end of some rainbow and guarded by leprechauns.

Now that the morning temperatures have cooled, I have taken to wearing a hat in the morning when I walk our dog, and I have totally abandoned wearing shorts, a past habit I mourn, as I have surrendered to fall’s onslaught. While the mercury has fallen, the blond leaves on the tree in our back yard lift my spirit whenever I see them, interest paid in advance of winter’s debt. If it were not for this and other such bright spots in what could otherwise be canyons of brick and mortar set amidst concrete and blacktop plains, I would be tempted to crawl into my urban den, not to stir from hibernation until the first hint of spring.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day Prayer

Eternal God, strong to save,    
     we pray for all the women and who have served in the armed forces of this country,
         from the battles at Lexington and Concord
         to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
We thank you for the freedom and security their dedicated service has won and preserved for us.
Help us to cherish our freedom and to use it well.
We ask you to bless all veterans in a special way, not just today, but every day.
Comfort those veterans who grieve for the fallen comrades
     who gave the last full measure of devotion.
Strengthen those veterans who bear physical, emotional, and spiritual wounds.
As a nation, may we live up to the commitments and promises we have made to our veterans.
Moreover, we pray for the day when your peace will reign,
     and no nation needs to defend itself
     and no one needs to serve in the military.
Help us to live not only as people who long for peace, and who pray for peace,
but as peacemakers in this, your world.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

City Lights

Looking South from the Williamsburg Bridge
City Lights
Inspired by the opening pages of Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s San Francisco Poems

On the elevated M
Rolling over the Williamsburg Bridge
Passing from Brooklyn to Manhattan
City lights awe me
Reflecting off the mirror like surface of the East River
Appearing as bioluminescent diamonds
Randomly strewn about
On a jeweler’s back velvet cloth
Or stars planted in the night sky
By a capacious creator

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Egmont Key

One of the dolphins we saw
on the way to Egmont Key
After a fantasy getaway to Hogwarts and Margaritiaville, my wife and I were looking for a vacation activity that was a little more natural and water related. After an internet search of possible activities, we decided to take a boat ride to Egmont Key.
We hopped a ride with the Tropical-Island-Getaway ferry based out of the Gulfport Municipal Marina. Aboard the ferry, named the Quest, with Captain Randy at the helm and assisted by Captain John, we and eighteen other passengers enjoyed a smooth ride out to Egmont Key. As we were leaving Tampa Bay, dolphins played in the boats wake, offering us our closest look at dolphins outside of an aquarium. We have kayaked near dolphins as we paddled off the North Carolina and South Carolina coast, but never paddled as close to them as they were from the Quest. Along the way, we also passed out from under the cloud cover and arrived under more sunny skies.
Thirteen miles later, having arrived at Egmont Key, Captains Randy and John anchored the boat near the shore. Passengers climbed down from the bow by descending an aluminum ladder suspended from the port bow. Stepping into about a foot and a half of water, we slowly walked to shore, shuffling our feet in the sandy bottom to scare away any hiding stingrays.

Donning our own masks, fins, and snorkels, we explored around the collapsed remains of an old power plant. Once located in the middle of the island, due to erosion, most of the power plant is now in the ocean. While our snorkeling around Egmont Key in no way compared to our snorkeling around Eleuthera in the Caribbean, we still enjoyed the experience. We saw pinfish, a few shells, and stingrays.
Power Plant ruins off Egmont Key

After snorkeling, we enjoyed a small picnic under palm trees on the beach. The white, powder like sand was some of the finest and cleanest sand we have ever seen. There were few, if any, bugs. The sun was warm. A gentle breeze was blowing. As we looked out over the Gulf, we could even see patches of turquoise water reminiscent of the Caribbean. All that was missing was our sailboat and rum punch.

After a couple hours on Egmont Key, we and the other passengers climbed back aboard the Quest. Our return trip more or less followed the same course we took out, but in reverse, except for a small detour to Fort De Sota County Park, where we encountered some more dolphins.
The Gulfport Municipal Marina, homeport of the Quest, offers clean, air-conditioned restrooms with showers. The small store also sells packaged snacks and bottled water, soft drinks, and beer. A few picnic tables are also availble near the store.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Fantasy Vacation

Hogwarts, at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Too many vacation destinations lure vacationers with promises of making their vacation “a dream vacation” or the “vacation of a lifetime”. I generally do not succumb to such hype. This post, therefore, is not about “a dream vacation” but one day of our family’s vacation, a day that included a trip to fantasyland.

My wife is a BIG Harry Potter fan. She has read all the books, most within a few days of their hitting the store shelf. Together we have watched all the Harry Potter movies so far released on DVD. For my wife’s birthday, since we are vacationing near Orlando over her birthday, I gave her a trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando.

Our favorite attraction was Hogwarts. Not only did the recreation of Harry’s Boarding School look spectacular, the thrill ride inside, featuring gyrating motion synchronized with IMAX type visuals, was a delight. We liked it so much we rode it three times. Even waiting in line (the lines were short) was entertaining as the line led through various rooms of Hogwarts, each room with its own thrill.

After a long afternoon, when we were hot and tired, the “Butter Beer” slush was quite refreshing and tasty. I regret it is (as far as I know) available only in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. We enjoyed our beverage with a few chocolate fudge flies.

The day we visited the Wizarding World of Harry Potter was Halloween, so I found it hard to determine how many of the Harry Potter look-a-likes and Hogwarts gown clad youth and adults dressed up for their visit to the Park and how many dressed up because it was Halloween. Nevertheless, their presence added to the fantasy.

As if the above fantasy was not enough, on the way out of the park we decided to eat and imbibe at Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritiaville. My wife enjoyed the Jerk Salmon. Wanting to keep the fantasy alive, I enjoyed a Cheese Burger in Paradise. We both enjoyed the drink of choice: Margaritas, of course. Though we were not in Keys, we were in Florida and the palm trees next to our open-air seating added to the illusion.

Visiting Hogwarts and Paradise in one day—now that is a fantasy vacation!

Monday, November 1, 2010

About the November 2010 Header Photo

This month’s header photo features a “shore” photo, but a photo taken from on the water looking back to shore rather than from shore looking out over the water. I took this shot from the cockpit of a C&C 24 looking north while sailing south on Jamaica Bay, NY. The skyline of Manhattan is visible on the horizon.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Howling Full Moon Paddle

"On Jamaica Bay"
Photo taken by Joan during the Full Moon Paddle
Ably led by John W., ten paddlers in nine boats departed from the Sebago dock just after last Saturday’s sunset. The rest of the group included, in addition to myself, Joan, Vicki, Jay, Minh, Frank, Sandy, Dennis, and Paul.

With deck lights and a few headlights, we paddled under the Belt Parkway Bridge and into Jamaica Bay proper. After a short break near buoy 13, our small flotilla crossed the channel to Canarsie Pol.

Once we reched the Pol we paddled around most of the island, paddling counter clockwise and pausing for a break on the southeast side. From that vantage point, it was hard to believe we were in New York City. Few artificial lights were in sight and no jets we overhead. Surrounded by nothing other than water, islands, marshes, quiet and darkness, the glassy smooth surface of Jamaica Bay offered us a special moment.

Once around the Pol the skyline of Manhattan and lights of Brooklyn, especially the floodlights of Canarsie Pier, offered us a more urban setting for our trek. As we paddled across the channel from Canarsie Pol to southern Brooklyn, we were starting to think that we would never see the full moon, thick cloud cover having hidden it all evening. As we were passing near Canarsie Pier, however, Vicki spotted a brightening spot behind us in the clouds.

As we all turned around to look, the 99% full lunar disk appeared through a small hole in the cloud cover. Howls immediately erupted, loud and primal enough to make Allen Ginsberg proud. After a few moments, we could hear similar howls erupting from the pedestrians on Canarsie Pier.

As soon as the moon appeared, it disappeared, only to reappear moments later before disappearing for the rest of our paddle. While it would have been nice to paddle all evening under a full moon, a few moments of a full moon was better than none and enough to satisfy us, especially after the excellent paddling conditions we had already enjoyed.

Eventually we made our way into and up Paerdegat Basin and back to the Sebago Dock, about two hours after originally departing from it. After rinsing and storing gear, and changing out of paddling clothes into street clothes, we enjoyed macaroni and cheese, potato salad, beer, wine and various munchies as we sat around the tables in the clubhouse.

According to my GPS, the total distance paddle was about 5.9 miles.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Passing A Sailing Milestone

Sailing north on Jamaica Bay.
The Skyline of Manhattan can be seen
on th horizon to left (port).
This past weekend my wife, dog and I passed a sailing milestone. While it might be inappropriate to use a terrestrial metaphor like "milestone" to talk about an aquatic event, I wonder what the alternative might be.  A Channel marker? Regardless, when we docked at the end of our most recent sail, we logged as many sails on Jamaica Bay on our own in a C&C 24 as we sailed on the Hudson River in class with an instructor on a J/24.  The occasion seems something worth marking. 

Our US Sailing  Basic Keelboat Course was a six-class course, each class lasting at least three hours. Most of our course, but not all of it, was under sail. Last Saturday we sailed for the sixth time on our own. Over our six sails, we have logged well over eighteen hours under sail. On one sail alone, we logged five hours under sail.

We made a few mistakes over our six sails, always learning from our errors. We are still learning but our learning curve is no longer as steep. With the growing confidence that comes with increased experience, what was once challenging is becoming routine and we are feeling more comfortable on the water under sail.

We have yet to anchor, or sail under the Marine Parkway Bridge and out into the more exposed water of Rockaway Inlet, but someday soon . . .

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Almost Around Great Britain in 90 Minutes

Marcus narrating his circumnavigation of Great Britain
With Skegness, on the East Coast of Great Britain, as his starting and ending point, fellow Sebago Canoe Club member Marcus Demuth  circumnavigated Great Britain in 80 days. At his recent travelogue presentation at the Manhattan Kayak Company, however, he was only able to make it as far as Lindisfarne, or Holy Island, in his 90-minute program.

When I arrived at Pier 66 on Manhattan’s west side overlooking the Hudson, with 30 minutes remaining untill show time, Marcus and a friend or two were assembled in the classroom shared by the Manhattan Kayak Company and Hudson River Community Sailing.  Still setting up a laptop–projector link, the slides and map projected on the screen were all washed out, with hardly any color at all, while on the laptop screen they were in full color. Not good. After trying to adjust the settings to correct the problem the images were not only still washed out but also upside down, and no one was able to correct this. Really not good!

Marcus located a wrench and disconnected the projector from the ceiling, turning the projector over and setting it on a table. Now the images were right side up. Better. But the images were still washed out. Still not good.

Moments before show time, another Sebago Canoe Club member, Control Geek John walks into the classroom, works a little techie magic, and restores full color to the projected images.   Very Good!

Before his presentation, Marcus handed out a fourteen multiple-choice question quiz about Great Britain and kayaking. He promised that the quizzes would be collected, scored, and the three people with the highest scores would receive prizes.

The actual travelogue began with Marcus recounting the initial idea and desire to circumnavigate Great Britain. With photos and narrative, he then took us to the English factory building his boat. Since his boat was not ready for the trip, however, he ended up paddling a different kayak rather than the one he ordered.

With stories of amazingly friendly people, total strangers offering him tea; unknowingly finding himself paddling amidst off shore artillery firing ranges and camping behind a target; and meeting some of the Welsh Lifesaving Service men who decades ago saved his father from drowning, Marcus held the attention of the approximate fifty people in attendance.

This was the third time I have heard Marcus talk about one of his trips. He has a way of artistically blending technical kayaking information with tidbits about the people, culture, and ecology of where he paddles. In addition, his German accent tends to woo listeners in, inviting them to listen more carefully to his sometimes broken English. Never seeming to take himself too seriously, Marcus readily admits the mistakes he has made in planning or execution. Regardless of those errors, however, on this trip , uncharacteristically favorable winds and the longer daylight of more northern latitudes, combined with Marcus’s experience and endurance, resulted in a record setting circumnavigation.

Ninety minutes after he started his presentation, Marcus was able to narrate his circumnavigation only as far as Lindisfarne, or Holy Island. With time running out, he ended his travelogue and promised to talk about the rest of his trip another time.

Before the small crowd left, Marcus announced the winners of the pre-presentation quiz. Fellow Sebago Canoe Club member Dennis had the third highest score, winning a box of English Breakfast Tea. A man two rows of chairs behind me had the second highest score and won a Sigg metal lunch box. (Drum roll please) I ended up having the highest score, missing only three of the fourteen multiple-choice questions, winning a Sigg Thermo Bottle valued at $34.99.

I attribute my winning score to my Liberal Arts Education, nine years of kayaking experience, and having travelled twice to Scotland.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

NOLS New York Area Reunion & Presentation (& Raffle)

Rich collecting name tags
With NOLS, you are always a winner. 
Last week I attended the NOLS  New York Area Reunion & Presentation. New York has the largest concentration of NOLS alums anywhere, so for NOLS, the New York Area Reunion is a big thing.

As we entered the Patagonia store in SoHo, which graciously hosted the event, we made nametags for ourselves. I saw a few familiar faces and a lot of new faces I did not recognize. After mingling with other New York Area Alums as well as the folk from Lander, including Rich, Pip and David, and enjoying hors d’oeuvres, we settled down into folding chairs for Dave Anderson’s presentation about the first ascent of a new route in Argentina’s Piritas Valley.

We Won! We won!
Dave’s presentation was not an overly technical documentation of the climb but much more of a travelogue of the adventure from start to finish. In classic NOLS style, Dave included as much information and personal reflection about trip planning, gear carried, the approach, and the return trip as he did about the actual climb.
Following Dave’s presentation, everyone took off their name tags, folded them in half, and Rich Brame collected them in a NOLS hat. Names we then pulled for various prizes. My wife won a hardback copy of WindRiver Wilderness, a picture book edited by Ronald H. Chilcote. I won a Climber Swiss Army knife modified by NOLS Aum Joel Bukiewicz of Cut Brooklyn.  This was my third or fourth New York Area Reunion but the first time I have won any of the raffle prizes.
The knife I won is especially meaningful to me because, while I had not met Joel until the evening of the reunion, I knew about him and his work through his sister, with whom I have paddled.

Photos from the Reunion cane be viewed on my Picassa page.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Circumnavigating Great Britain by Kayak

Marcus at an earlier MKC presentation

On October 19th, 2010, 7pm – 9pm (presentation will start promptly at 7:30pm) at the Pier 66 boathouse, Manhattan (three blocks north of Chelsea Piers, at the intersection of 26th Street and the Hudson River),  Marcus Demuth will present a program about his recent record setting circumnavigation of Great Britain.
You can read about Marcus’ kayak adventures, paddling tips and more at his website
I have attended two other presentations Marcus has delivered and they were both entertaining and informative.  One of those previous presentations was at this same venue, the Manhattan Kayak Company. 
There is something to be said about hearing such a presentation in a Hudson River Boat House filled with Kayaks.  And the folks at MKC have always been friendly and hospitable whenever I have been there.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

2010 Columbus Day Paddle

Paddling south across Jamaica Bay
There is no better way for a kayaker to observe and celebrate the anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the Americas then by exploring a nearby body of water. So yesterday, on the legal Columbus Day holiday, several kayakers from the Sebago Canoe Club  in Brooklyn, NY, paddled across Jamaica Bay and back again.
Seven other paddlers (Vicki, Lynn, Tony, Anthony, Walter, Dottie, and John W.) and I set off from the Sebago Dock around 11:30 AM, headed for Far Rockaway. No Kings or Queens commissioned our journey, nor was there great fanfare as we departed. The sky was blue, however, the water calm, the wind minimal, and the air temperature in the mid 70’s. Columbus himself could not have asked for a better day to be on the water.
As we were paddling out of Paerdegat Basin into Jamaica Bay, we met up with Chris, on his way back from a solo paddle. He decided to join us as we paddled into the Bay and crossed the channel to Canarsie Pol. Crossing the channel, Tony paddled point and John W. paddled sweep. By the time we reached the Pol, however, Lynn was having second thoughts about her ability to complete the paddle, and decided to return to the clubhouse, accompanied by Chris. Meanwhile, Gary and Rochell, paddling in a tandem, joined us.

Beaching on Ruffle Bar
An hour after we started paddling, with one paddler having pulled out and two other paddlers in the tandem having joined us, we beached on Ruffle Bar to stretch our legs, take some group photos, undertake a little below the high tide line exploring, and coordinate our crossing of the next channel.

After leaving Ruffle Bar, Tony ably led across the channel to Far Rockaway and John W. brought up the rear, even though we were tightly grouped for the channel crossing. John W. and I tied up at the dock at the Warf around 1:30 PM while the other six boats, their paddlers not wanting to have to climb up the high dock, decided to paddle to a nearby beach and walk to the restaurant.
At our destination, we discovered no silver or gold, but we did find good food. I enjoyed a fish taco, onion rings, water and a cold Corona with Lime. As we ate outside on the deck, we celebrated not only the good food but also good company and conversation as well as a beautiful view of the Manhattan skyline off in the distance to the north. Another one of our members, Rockaway Vivian, surprised us by walking up to our table. Even though she had not paddled to the restaurant, we let her sit at our table.

Group Shot on Ruffle Bar. Photo by Gary.
As we were preparing to leave, Gary grabbed the check and paid for our lunches with each of us leaving our own tip. An hour and a half after arriving at our destination and after having refueled, we returned to our kayaks and headed back to Sebago.

Rather than stopping on Ruffle Bar during our return trip we simply paused for a floating break, thinking that we might beach on Canarsie Pol later in the return trip. Before we reached the Pol, however, the Weather Alert feature of my VHF radio kicked in, alerting me to a severe storm warning. Even though the sky did not look threatening, we took the warning seriously and decided not to beach on Canarsie Pol but to rather take breaks on the water.

A little over five hours after departing, we arrived back at the dock. We returned with the same number of kayaks we started with, eight, but with nine paddlers rather than eight, and only seven of us having been among the original group. We brought back no spices or precious metals but many precious memories and a zest for life. We claimed no land for distant monarchs but once again claimed our right to paddle and enjoy the largest open expanse in all of New York’s five boroughs.

Enjoying lunch at The Wharf
After washing and stowing gear, we retired to one of the picnic tables on the Club grounds overlooking Pardegat Basin.  with wine, munchies, and frozen cake we celebrated a fine day on the water, as the sun slowly apprached the western horizon. I wish I could have stayed longer to enjoy the company but the bunp and grind or real life responsibiulities beckoned.

The paddle from Sebago to Far Rockaway, which included a beaching on Ruffle Bar, was a 4.8 mile paddle. The return trip, with no beaching, was a 4.7 mile paddle. According to my GPS, in spite of what seemed like a leisurely and laid back but steady paddle, we were at times paddling at a 3-4 mile pace. With little wind to contend with, our pace, in retrospect, makes sense, and also accounts for the fact that both legs took about the same time factoring in the one beaching.

Prepairing for the final channel crossing
This was my second Columbus Day Paddle. Last Year’s paddle was my first. While I was not originally going to be the trip leader for this year’s Columbus Day Paddle, when Phil, the original trip leader had to bow out because of work obligations, I volunteered to lead. While I have assisted on several other Sebago trips, this was the first trip for which I was the designated trip leader. I was glad to have along as Assistant Trip Leaders Tony and John W. and to be leading a trip of experienced and competent kayakers, all of whom, with the exception of Rochelle, I had paddled with before. I was also glad to be paddling one of my favorite club boats, the blue Necky Chatham 17. With hardly any wind and mild tides, however, I never once used its skeg.

During the paddle back, as I in the blue plastic Necky Chatham 17 club boat was paddling next to Anthony in his yellow fiberglass Necky Chatham 17, I asked him if he knew what two Chatham 17s do when they meet. He did not know that the answer was “They neck”.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Double, Double, Toil and Trouble.

Did you hear that "Macbeth" has been updated to reflect current political realities? An early scene features three witches standing around a boiling cauldron and chanting . . .

Double, double, toil and trouble.

Fire burn and caldron bubble.

We may be witches with hardly a care.

But we are not candidates in Delaware.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Stones For Bread: A critique of Contemporary Worship by A. Daniel Frankforter

I rarely read books recommended and loaned to me by friends. I already have too many unread books on my shelves, some of which I will probably never read in my lifetime. The more books I read that I do not own, the longer it will take me to read the books I do own.

Nevertheless, I recently read Stones For Bread: A critique of Contemporary Worship by A. Daniel Frankforter, even though it is not a recent publication, but nearly ten years old. A friend and colleague in ministry loaned me his copy and not only recommended that I read it, he urged me to read it.

The first couple of chapters were slow going. The more I read, however, the more I found the author articulating many of my own thoughts and feelings regarding Contemporary Worship. He said them much better than ever could, however. He also organized his thoughts better than I have been able to organize mine.

In one sense, Stones for Bread is a critique of “Contemporary Worship” in the sense of contemporary being an attempt to upgrade and update, or modernize, if you will, what some often criticize as stale, stodgy, stuck-in-the mud worship. In another sense, however, Stones for Bread offers a thoughtful critique of “Contemporary Worship” in the sense of contemporary being whatever passes for worship in the present day, much of which, in my opinion, is not theologically informed and poorly led.

I wish everyone who worships with the Church I serve as Designated Pastor and every leader of worship in the Presbytery of which I am a member would read and reflect on this book.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

No Wonder we argue about Evolution and Creationism

Various secular and religious publications, both hard print and on line, have reported on the recent Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life US Religious Knowledge Survey. The survey’s findings do not surprise me.
As the survey’s executive summary notes: “Atheists and agnostics, Jews and Mormons are among the highest-scoring groups on a new survey of religious knowledge, outperforming evangelical Protestants, mainline Protestants and Catholics on questions about the core teachings, history and leading figures of major world religions.”
Many of my friends and colleagues who, like me are Ordained Ministers, decry the generally low level of Biblical literacy and  lack of religious and theological knowledge we encounter in the church, even the congregations we ourselves serve as Pastors. At times, I feel like most of what I preach about and teach about goes in one ear and out the other.
Maybe the low level of religious literacy in the US is not an isolated phenomenon. Maybe it is just one more indication of a general lack of general literacy and dumbing down of the American culture. For instance, according to The Condition of Education 2008, a report released by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), U.S. students score below average in international comparisons of science literacy. 
A few years ago, I was teaching an undergraduate Introduction to Philosophy course. As an example of our tendency to use imprecise language, I used as an example Pink Floyd’s incorrect reference to “The Dark Side of the Moon”. There is no “dark side” but there is a far side, sometimes bathed in light, sometimes shrouded in darkness, but we can never see the far side because it is always facing away from the earth. During the discussion I learned that a few of the students thought that the phases of the moon were caused by the earth’s shadow. They did not understand the basic celestial relationships of the earth, moon and sun. Nor did they understand the difference between a lunar eclipse and the phases of the moon.
My point is, if high school educated Americans do not know the basic scientific principles that affect them every day, how can we expect them to have a basic knowledge of religion? How can we expect to debunk the bad science and theology of creationism when most Americans are both scientifically and religiously illiterate?

Friday, October 1, 2010

About the October 2010 Header Photo

Looking back, I do not know how this scene, featuring Seneca Rocks, WV, has not appeared at the top of my blog before now. Sure, I featured part of Seneca as the March 2010 Header Photo, but that part of Seneca, a formation known as the Gendarme, no longer exists.
I first climbed at Seneca in the fall of 1976 and climbed there rather steadily the next three and half years. I have climbed off and on at Seneca ever since, but not often enough or as often as I would like or would have liked.
Unlike West Virginia’s New River George or New York’s Gunks, Seneca offers a true summit, the south summit. Once a climber attains it, the only way down is to rappel. Comprised of the same rock as the Gunks, whereas the Gunks lie horizontal to its bedding plane, offering long horizontal cracks, Seneca lies perpendicular its bedding plane, offering long vertical cracks, some a hundred feet long.
Because Seneca lies perpendicular to its bedding plane and rises from the surrounding area like a knife blade, it offers two main climbing faces, the eastern face which gets the morning light and the western face, pictured here, which receives the afternoon and evening light. The depression in the center is the Gunsight notch, where the Gendarme used to stand.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

NOLS NYC Alumni Gathering, and Reunion & Presentation

It is always good to get together with other Alumni of the National Outdoor Leadership School,  especially when it has been awhile since the last time we gathered. A week ago, NOLS Alumni met at the 79th Street Boat Basin Café  on Manhattan’s upper west side for some drinks and food.
Although I do not go there often, the Boat Basin Café is one of my favorite places to eat when the weather is nice. It offers open air dining overlooking the Hudson with numerous boats; especially sail boats, docked and moored not far away. It was at the dock not far away that last year my wife and I were able to board and tour Pete Seeger’s sloop, the Clearwater.
There were about a dozen to a dozen and a half NOLS Alumni at last week’s gathering. I knew about half of them and it was good to see people I knew and have hiked and kayaked with. I also met a few new folk, some who were newer to the Big Apple than I was. We drank, ate, and talked about plans for the fall, including an overnight, and a couple day hikes. We also talked up the NOLS New York Area Reunion & Presentation on Thursday, October 10, at the Patagonia Store in SoHo, 101 Wooster St.
Gint, Tobey and Lori (local alumni), organize our occasional Alumni gatherings at places like the Boat Basin Café, gatherings that attract anywhere from half a dozen to two dozen people. NOLS Staff in Lander organize The NOLS New York Area Reunion & Presentation and travel to New York City to be with us. It is a big event.
While the NOLS New York Area Reunion & Presentation is designed primarily for NOLS Alumni in the greater New York City area, anyone may attend. If you love the outdoors and want to learn more about the philosophy and course offerings of the National Outdoor Leadership School, send an email to ALUMNI@NOLS.EDU to RSVP and donate $10 or more at the door to help pay for drinks and appetizers.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Learning How To Sail

Some of Hudson River Community Sailing's fleet of J/24s
One of my most popular blog posts, and by popular I mean one that has received more hits than usual, was 45 Reasons To Learn How To Sail, posted over a year ago, on March 5, 2009. The post was picked up by a sailing blog, which linked to it, generating many hits.

I recently took my own words to heart. Last month my wife Vicki and I enrolled in a sailing course. To be more specific, we took the US Sailing  Basic Keelboat Course  offered by Hudson River Community Sailing.

I chose HRCS primarily because they offered classes that fit into our schedule, Monday and Wednesday evenings. Most sailing schools in the New York metro area offer classes only on the weekends, which made it impossible for us to attend. Only HRCS and one or two other schools offered weeknight classes and HRCS fit into our schedule better than the other schools. In addition, we could easily commute from our home in Queens to the HRCs dock and facility on the Hudson River in Manhattan via the subway.

Guy, Cairon and Vicki in the cockpit of a J/24 on the Hudson
HRCS trains on the J/24, maintaining a fleet of eight docked at Pier 66 on the Hudson River in Manhattan. All of HRCS' instructors are US Sailing certified.

While I still do not know the definitive difference between US Sailing and the American Sailing Association,  I liked the fact that US Sailing dates back to 1897 and is associated with the Olympics. ASA dates only as far back as 1983. It also seems that many non-profit community Sailing Programs associate with US Sailing while most Commercial Sailing Schools associate with ASA, and I liked the idea of learning with a non-profit community organization, like HRCS, rather than a commercial for-profit school.  However, if an ASA affiliated school had better fit our schedule, we probably would have taken classes there without a second thought.

Alex teaching about the parts of a sailboat
Vicki and I ended up in a class with two other students, Guy and Tom. Our first instructor, which we had for the first two of our six lessons, was a young Irish sailor named Cairon. His style was loose and laid back but he had us out on the Hudson and sailing our very first class. Unfortunately, Cairon had to return to Ireland before our course was over and so Alex was our Instructor for the third night of class. His style was pretty much by the book and a little more knowledge based while Cairon’s style was more experiential. Ripley instructed us for our last three lessons, including a night of high winds on the Hudson when the J/24 we were sailing was a bit overpowered. Ripley kept her cool, however, and encouraged and motivated us to meet the challenge, if not head on, then in a close reach. Her instructional style was somewhere between that of Cairon and Alex.

Ripley and Tom on a J/24
Some might think that having three different instructors, over six classes, would have been a problem, but it was not. I think all in the class would agree that having three different instructors gave us three slightly different perspectives and a broader exposure to sailing than if we had just one instructor. I would not have wanted to miss learning how to sail from any of the three.  All three were competant, experienced, helpful, and professional US Sailing Instructors.
The staff of HRCS was also quite willing to work with Vicki, who had to miss one of our Wednesday classes because of a previous engagement. They scheduled her to attend part of a Saturday afternoon class, with Ripley and two other students, when the class would be covering the same material Vicki missed. HRCS did so at no extra cost, enabling Vicki to meet the course requirments for both instructional time and content!
At the end of our sixth session, after having sailed in calm, moderate and high winds over three weeks, and after having our skills evaluated over those three weeks, the four of us in the class took the US Sailing Basic Keelboat Written Exam. Ripley graded our exams as soon as we finished and that night all four of us learned that we passed.

Vicki and I have since then been sailing a C&C 24 out of Brooklyn’s Mill Basin and into Jamaica Bay, having sailed at least three times after we were Basic Keel Boat Certified.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Introducing Oy Vey Rockaway

Rockaway Vivian cooking up some grub
at a Sebago Canoe Club Event

There are many things you can’t learn to do by watching–so I have entered the blogosphere!

With the above words, my friend, sometimes paddling companion, and fellow Sebago Canoe Club member Vivian Rattay Carter (a.k.a. Rockaway Vivian) started her blog, Oy Vey Rockaway, entering the blogosphere on August 31, 2010.

Vivian more than once has helped draw attention to my blog, complimented me on my writing, and enabled some of my photos to appear in local publications. Thanks, Viv.

Fair is fair. Since Viv has helped Summit to Shore gain exposure, I hereby return the favor and introduce her and her blog to my readers.

Visit Rockaway Vivian's blog, Oy Vey Rockaway, and see what she is cooking up there and serving to her readers.  If you like the service, leave a comment rather than a tip.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Barnegat Bay Paddle

Barnegat Lighthouse as seen from the southern end
of Island Beach State Park
Recently I was one of thirteen kayakers from the New York City metro area to paddle in New Jersey’s Barnegat Bay. Seven paddlers in seven boats were from the Sebago Canoe Club, based in Brooklyn, and six paddlers in four boats were from the Long Island City Community Boathouse, based in Queens.

The Long Island City paddlers were first to arrive at the Island Beach State Park kayak and canoe launch site and some of them were already in the water when my wife and I arrived. She and I had spent the night before with a friend on Long Beach Island and had driven an hour from the south to arrive at the site. The other five from Sebago, delayed due to 9/11 observance traffic and rerouting, arrived about an hour later than the 10:00 AM estimated arrival time.

The first challenge of our trip was route finding, which tested us before we ever unloaded our boats. I drove past the road to the launch site twice before we ventured down it on our third pass. With absolutely no signage and nothing but a dogleg hard right onto a sandy road on the bay side to suggest that the road was in fact the way to the put-in, we were not the only paddlers to miss the turn. After we unloaded our boats, I decided to drive back out to the road head to direct others yet to arrive to the put in.

We were all on the water by 11:20 AM. We paddled south out along the western side of the Sedge Islands to near the western end of Barnegat Inlet. With powerboats of all shapes and sizes zipping through the Barnegat Inlet channel as they were making their way between Barnegat Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, the channel crossing from north to south was one of the most challenging I have ever undertaken. Not only did we have to keep a careful watch out for boat traffic, we also had to contend with some large wakes from passing traffic. At one point it seemed a large power boat, running just north of the channel, was determined to run us down and passed by within only twenty or thirty yards.
Once across the channel we hugged the shoreline at High Bar until we beached on some sea grass, around 1:45 PM, within an easy walk of the Barnegat Light House. Walking toward the lighthouse, we made a beverage stop and those who did not bring lunch made a deli stop before we settled in at some picnic tables near the channel. After lunch, most of us walked to the lighthouse but not all who walked there climbed the 217 steps.

The view from the top outside platform of the Barnegat Light House was spectacular. The setting offered a commanding view of the southern end of Island Beach State Park, including where we had paddled from and what we hoped would be our return route. One could clearly the entire Barnegat Channel, including the rippling ebb current flowing out through it. The inhabited northern end of Long Beach Island offered a stark contrast to the uninhabited southern end of Island Beach State Park and one could see through the haze the outline of the larger casinos and hotels of Atlantic City, 50 miles to the south.

After a late lunch and playing tourist, we walked back to our kayaks, slipped into our cockpits, and around 3:50 PM started paddling back north. Crossing the channel from south to north was not nearly as hazardous as the earlier north to south crossing as it appeared most of the power boat traffic was now from Ocean to Bay rather than both ways, and not nearly as busy.
We discovered a breach in the Army Corps of Engineers Dike at the southern end of Island Beach that allowed us paddling access to to the Little Bay Trail without having to portage. As we paddled through the islands and salt marshes, however, some of us would occasionally encounter water so shallow that we had to exit our kayaks and drag them into deeper water until we could again paddle.
Beaching at the Area 15 launch Site
at the end of the day and trip
With the sun appearing ever closer to the western horizon, we debated whether to take out at the southern Area 21 access and hitch a ride to the cars at the northern access and to drive them south. We decided to keep paddling and easily made the northern access well before sunset, around 6:45 PM.

According to my GPS we paddled 9.5miles, 5 miles north to south and 4.5 miles south to north.  One of the other Sebago paddlers on the trip, Ed, also had a GPS and logged a little over 10 miles.  I can not explain the discrepency.  Ed posted his GPS data, including a map of our paddle, on the Garmin site.

This was my second Sebago trip involving a lighthouse, the first being over a year ago when we paddled from Long Island’s Captree State Park to Fire Island and walked to the Fire Island Light House after beaching. Because we arrived too late that day to climb to the top of the Fire Island Light House, the Barnegat Light House is the first lighthouse I climbed while on a Sebago trip, and only the second lighthouse I have ever climbed, the other being the Montauk lighthouse.

On this Barnegat Bay trip, I was able to paddle one of my favorite club boats, a blue Necky Chatham 17, only occasionally using the skeg. I was not disappointed with the boat.