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.

Friday, September 17, 2010

After the Storm

Alert issued 9/16/10 at 5:40 PM The National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Warning until 6PM in Queens. Immediately go indoors and/or to the lowest floor of your building for shelter. Stay away from windows.
My home computer received the above e-mail soon after it was issued. The problem was I was not home. I was riding the “M” line into Manhattan. My smart phone acknowledged an incoming call from NotifyNYC that would have audibly delivered the same information, but the call was dropped before my phone received the message.
Later this afternoon, investigators from the National Weather Service will determine if a tornado, or more than one tornado, actually touched down in the city.

When I left the house yesterday a little after 5 PM to head into Manhattan to meet my wife for dinner, there was an overcast sky with a low cloud ceiling but no wind or rain. I knew the weather forecast included a chance of thunderstorms but I had no idea what was in store.

By the time I arrived at the elevated “M” platform on Forest Avenue, ¼ mile from home, I could hear thunder in the distance.

Between the Forest Avenue Station and the Williamsburg Bridge, I started seeing numerous cloud to ground lightning strikes over Manhattan and to the north. Then the rain started, heavy rain, wind-driven blowing sideways rain, accompanied by pea-sized hail. The sky had become so dark and the rain was blowing so hard that I could no longer see outside the windows of the subway car.

During the height of the storm my smart phone rang, identifying the call being from NotifyNYC, a free subscription based emergency broadcast service provided by the city. As I listened to the first few words of the message, I lost the connection. I could hear the phones of other passengers in the car starting to ring. Even though I lost the NotifyNYC call I still had connectivity, so I switched to my smart phone’s browser and connected to Weather Underground. A weather alert warning about possible tornadoes appeared at the top of the screen. But the storm was already winding down.
By the time we crossed the Williamsburg Bridge, the rain had almost stopped. Low clouds were covering the higher buildings in Upper Manhattan and climbing to the northwest.
When I exited the subway at Rockefeller Center, there was little indication that a torrential storm had passed. I arrived at the restaurant before my wife and when she arrived, she had no idea there had even been a storm. As we enjoyed our dinner, however, NY 1, the local news station, played on a nearby wall mounted flat screen. Images of storm damage started appearing on the screen. Although we could not hear the commentary, we could read the text and the text suggested the worst of the damage was in Staten Island and Queens.
After dinner we did a little shopping before heading home. We walked to the “M” but four “F” trains passed before an “M” arrived. After we passed a couple of stations, the conductor announced that the train would be stopping at West 4th street in Manhattan. As we transferred to the “J” we learned that the “M” service in Brooklyn and Queens had been suspended because of debris on the tracks. We rode the “J” to Myrtle-Broadway where we transferred to the Q-54 bus. We intended to transfer to the Q-55 at Myrtle-Wyckoff but after waiting several minutes decided to walk home. Several east bound out of service busses passed by as we were walking but by the time we arrived at our front door, not a single eastbound Q-55 had passed by. Deciding to walk rather than wait for the bus had been the right decision.
Once home, we made a quick survey of the house, inside and out, and determined that all was well.  This morning, however, I dsicovered that a four fot long branch with a trunk diameter of an inch or two fell from the tree in our back yard into our back yard, but that is nothing compared to what I saw as I walked the dog.

AsI was walking Myrrhlyn this morning, I was struck by the stark contrast between the number of downed trees and broken limbs on Fresh Pond Road, especially near the “M” station, compared to apparent lack of downed tree and scan fallen branches along the other three streets we walked. At one point along our walk, I had to detour out into the street because a large broken and fallen branch blocked the entire sidewalk (photos above right).

A little over three years ago, soon after we moved to New York, a tornado touched down in Brooklyn. Like many other New Yorkers, I am waiting to find out if last night one touched down in Queens.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Primary Election Day

It is primary Election Day in New York State. The polls opened at 6:00 AM. I voted around 10:30 AM and was the seventeenth person from in election district to vote in my party’s primary.
We have a new voting procedure in New York. We used to have the old style lever voting machine but had to abandon them in order to comply with federal law. At this election, I was given a small print paper ballot and instructed to fill in the circle next to the name of the person I wanted to vote for. Other than the small print, the ballot reminded me of a standardized test, the kind with multiple-choice answers and you are to fill in the circle or oval next to the answer you think is correct.
After I filled out my ballot I walked to a scanner where I placed the ballot in a tray that sucked the ballot into what I assume is a counting machine.
If today is a primary Election Day in your state, vote early and vote often. If you do not exercise your franchise then you should not complain when our elected officials make bad decisions, make no decisions, or misbehave.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Last Paddle of Summer

I know the fall equinox does not occur until September 21, but for many people, Labor Day marks the official end of summer. In which case, the Sebago Canoe Club’s Labor Day Paddle to Gerritsen Creek and back was the last paddle of summer. What a paddle it was. Here is how Phil, the trip leader, announced it.

Mon, September 6, 12pm – 6pm

Where: Sebago Canoe Club Clubhouse Brooklyn, NY
Description: Gerritsen Beach Au Naturel. Intermediate level 2 minimum PLUS kayak rescue + safety.

The ability to do a wet exit, must do group rescues and boat handling skills plus you have paddled on minimum10 mile trips. Low tide is 12:45 and High Tide is 7:00pm so we will get an assist on the way back

The trip is appox 6 hours. Gerritsen Greek has been home both to a bayside community of fishermen and dumping grounds for old boats. Now cleaned up and revitalized, its scenery is stunning and includes a new interpretive nature center. But don’t worry, it’s not sanitized, you can still take in a few hulks of rusting wrecks while gazing at egrets.

Twenty of us assembled for the paddle and were on the water shortly after noon. The sky was blue with just a few billowy clouds. Both the air and the water were warm. There was a slight breeze. The tide was going out, which was in our favor. In other words, it was a nearly perfect day to paddle.

I paddled, for my first time, one of three demo Necky Elaho’s recently purchased by the club. The particular Elhao I paddled was red, poly roto-molded, with a skeg rather than a rudder. I did not use the skeg as the boat tended to track well. I like the feel of Necky’s and this boat could easily become my second favorite, close behind the Chatham.

According to my GPS, we paddled 13.8 miles round trip, but I and two other paddlers detoured into a salt marsh on the way home, which may have added an extra half-mile or so to my total paddle.

About a mile into the paddle one of our group decided the wind was too much and headed back to the dock, reducing our number to nineteen.

The most demanding part of our trip was just after the Marine Parkway Bridge when we turned north into Dead Horse Bay. The wind, tide and shallows combined to produce a nice chop. Since the day and the water were warm I paddled into the midst of the chop, eventfully paddled on my starboard when I should have braced on my port, and over I went. Roger offered to rescue me but we opted to head toward shallower water where I could stand in water a little higher than waste deep and with a nice hop up and across the deck of my boat and grabbing onto Roger’s boat I quickly reentered my cockpit and was paddling once again.

Once at Gerritsen we beached around 2:45 PM and enjoyed whatever lunch we brought or others shared. The water was so thick with power boaters and jet skiers that we opted not to paddle around the island in the middle of the Creek. To make matters worse, ATVs and dirt bikes were on the beach and one ATV even cut across our beaching site, coming within inches of some of us, as he crossed from one side of the beach to the other side.

About half an hour later, we headed back toward Sebago. While the wind and chop made re-crossing Dead Horse Bay a bit tricky, once we were out of the Bay we generally had the wind at our back and were paddling on a flood tide for a nice assist.

Because I chose to detour into a salt march on the way back, I was one of the last paddlers to reach the Sebago Dock, almost exactly at 6:00 P.M. By the time I reached the dock, my water was almost gone. My arm and shoulder muscles were sore and my legs were stiff. While this was not my longest paddle, nor was it the first time I had paddled to Gerritsen Beach and back, tt was only my second paddle to Gerristsen, my third longest paddle ever, and my longest paddle in over a year. At the end of the day and trip, however, I was humbled when one of our oldest members, 85 year Betty, Sebago PGD #1, paddled up to the dock. I hope to be paddling at her level of skill and competence thirty years from now.

While this Labor Day paddle was a great one, I experienced a little sadness as we were washing and stowing gear in the setting sun because I realized that Sebago’s summer paddling season had officially ended. While there will certainly be some fall paddles before dry suit conditions set in, there is something special about Summer paddles, with their warm air and water temperatures, and late evenings.

I have posted photos from the trip on my Picasa site.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Maybe I Will Raise My Copy of the Quran

Because I believe in free speech, I think the Rev. Terry Jones, pastor of Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, has the right to burn a few Qurans. After all, we Americans have the right to make fools of ourselves and show the world how ignorant and intolerant we can be.

I am wondering, however, how and where Terry Jones earned the title “Reverend”. My “Reverend” title was bestowed upon me after four years of college, three years of Seminary (the Church’s equivalent of Graduate School), a battery of psychological assessments and ecclesiastical exams, and the gathered wisdom of two local congregations (the one who sponsored my candidacy and the one who called me as a pastor) as well a regional governing body of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A). Unlike some “Reverends” , I did not obtain my Divinity or Theological Degree from a diploma mill or buy my ordination over the internet. Mr. Jones, what are your credentials?

Few Americans would undergo open-heart surgery from a “Surgeon” who obtained their M.D. from a correspondence school and their Board Certification over the internet, or be represented in a Court of Law by an “Attorney” whose law degree came from a diploma mill and the only bar they ever passed served drinks. Many Americans, however, are willing to follow blindly a so-called “Reverend” who has little if any theological education and whose ordination is worth about as much as three cereal box tops. Therefore, the Reverend Terry Jones serves as a Pastor of Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville and has already experienced more than his fifteen minutes of fame.

I will be among the first to admit that a theological education and the ecclesiastical bureaucracy can stifle the Spirit, but they also guard against ignorance and stupidity. I have a hunch that Mr. Jones’ theological qualifications are thin and his ecclesiastical credentials are slim, or else he would not be saying what he is saying and planning to do what he says he is planning to do.

Mr. Jones, I read the Quran when I was still in high school. The Quran, as is the Tanakah and the New Testament, is the foundational text of one of the world’s three great monotheistic faiths. Rather than burning a copy of the Quran on September 11, 2010, I think I will raise it from the shelf in my library where it has been sitting, carry it with me, and read it in public as a protest against ignorance and intolerance and sign of support for peace loving Moslems.

This post has been cross posted on the blog, Presbyterian Bloggers

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Safely Boating in New York

When my wife and I bought our first kayaks, about nine years ago, we both completed the BoatU.S. Foundation On-line Boating Safety Course  for West Virginia, where we were living at the time, so that we would be better prepared for situations we might face. While many states recognize such On-line Boating Safety Course, New York State does not, so I recently attended the required eight hours of classroom instruction and took and passed the written test to obtain my New York State Safe Boating Certificate. The course was offered through Safe Boating America.

Prior to taking the New York classroom course, however, I read the on-line course and took the practice quizzes. Even though I had undertaken this extra work and have nine years of kayaking experience behind me, I still learned a thing or two from the classroom instruction.

The class was held on a Tuesday and Thursday evening from 6-10 PM in rented classroom space in Midtown Manhattan. There were only twelve people in the class. Our instructor was Captain Kevin Ivany, a U.S.C.G Licensed Master. His teaching included power point presentations, videos, demonstration of equipment, and stories from his own experience as a charter boat captain, as well as the opportunity to ask questions. He was informative and educational as well as entertaining with a wealth of knowledge about New York Harbor and other area waters.

Although New York state does not require a Safe Boating Certificate unless one is operating a Personal Water Craft (PWC i.e. jet ski), and most of the course focused on power boating, I still recommend it for all kayakers paddling in New York Waters and anyone sailing or power boating in New York Waters.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

About the September 2010 Header Photo

In early August, my wife and I attended a wedding that was about half an hour’s drive to the east. The reception was a few hours later, another hour’s drive to the east. It was not worth driving home between the wedding and the reception so we drove toward the reception and explored the northern coast of Long Island until it was time for the reception.

This was our first time to explore the northern shore of our home island, and we discovered that the closest coastal area near the reception was the Oyster Bay area. We parked near the waterfront and walked around T. Roosevelt Memorial Park during what was a warm, sunny afternoon with a slight breeze. While we were enjoying our waterfront walk, I snapped this month’s header photo with my HTC Imageo smart phone.

The shot looks out over Long Island Sound’s West Harbor from the T. Roosevelt Memorial Park.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Paddling the East River

Vicki paddling into the sunsett and under the bridge
I have lived in New York City for three years and since moving here have kayaked in Jamaica Bay and in the Great South Bay of Long Island. I have kayaked and sailed in the Hudson River. It was not until this past Saturday, however, that I paddled in the East River.

Thanks to an invitation from the Long Island City Community Boat House (LICCB), several members of the Sebago Canoe Club were treated to a late afternoon-early evening paddle on the East River. Most of us paddled tandem sit-on-tops. My wife and have been paddling our own sit-on-tops for over nine years but this trip was the first time we have ever paddled together in a tandem, an Ocean Kayak Malibu Two XL. Our paddling seemed well coordinated and our marriage survived.
We put in around 4:45 PM at the LICCB floating dock across the river from the United Nations. Paddling south with the ebb tide, we passed under the Williamsburg Bridge and Manhattan Bridge until we beached near the Brooklyn Bridge, where a wedding was in progress in the public park. We treated wedding guests to the sight of over a two dozen kayakers beaching their boats on the rocks not far from the ceremony, but neither the Bride or Groom, or any of the wedding party and guests, seemed phased.
After beaching, we spread out during a break while waiting for the flood tide. While waiting, my wife and I joined a few other Sebago paddlers to explore a nearby bookstore and pizzeria.
The flood tide started flowing at about the same time the sun appeared to set below the Manhattan skyline. With deck lights now adoring our kayaks, as New York State boating regulations require, we paddled with the flood tide up the east River, from whence we came. Near the end of our paddle, some of us let out an Allan Ginsbergesque howl, as the nearly full but now waxing moon appeared above the Eastern cityscape.
Back at the Boat House, with kayaks and gear stowed, we retired three flights up to the roof top for refreshments and a mixer between the two clubs, all under the rising moon and with the vibrant lights of upper Manhattan clearly in view across the river to the west. Cheese, crackers, chips, dips, beer and wine were in abundance.
One of the things I appreciated most about this trip was the generosity and hospitality of the LICCB, which allowed my wife and me to pack light and take the subway to the trip. We did not take, as we usually do, our own PFDs and paddles with us. Nor did we have to drive to the Sebago Club House, load boats on our car, drive to the destination, only to drive back to Sebago after the trip, unload, rinse boats and gear, and then drive back home.
According to my GPS, our trip covered about 9.5 miles, but I think a mile of that included our walking around where we beached, so the actual distance we paddled on the East River was probably closer to 8.5 miles. Here is a link to my picasa site where I posted a few photos from the trip. Tina Lee also shot some pics and here is a link to her picasa site.