2014 Inaugural Paddle on the East River

Volunteer Sally Attia, Esq. and Facilities Manager Pat Erickson paddling by the Domino Sugar Factory by the Williamsburg Bridge

Volunteer Sally Attia, Esq. and Facilities Manager Pat Erickson paddling by the Domino Sugar Factory by the Williamsburg Bridge

Volunteer Sally Attia, Esq. preparing for our paddle by making sure our water bottles were packed

Volunteer Sally Attia, Esq. preparing for our paddle by making sure our water bottles were packed

On Sunday April 27, 2014, three of our HarborLAB volunteers- Facilities Manager Patricia Erickson, volunteer Sally Attia, Esq. (part of our incorporation team), and yours truly, Operations Manager EJ Lee kicked off the 2014 year with a paddle from our Newtown Creek launch to Williamsburg.

Operations Manager EJ Lee and Facilities Manager Pat Erickson in Williamsburg

Operations Manager EJ Lee and Facilities Manager Pat Erickson (and Sally Attia’s elbow) in Williamsburg, BK

The purpose of this paddle was to scout the shoreline for any changes since last year that could affect paddlers. I am happy to report that there was nothing that would disturb paddling on the East River from Long Island City to Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Cormorant on an old piling by the Huxley Envelope building in Greenpoint, BK

Cormorant on an old piling by the Huxley Envelope building in Greenpoint, Brooklyn

In fact, the cormorants were sunning themselves contentedly, Canada geese were floating along with their goslings, and the bladderwrack were flourishing on the rocks along the banks of the Newtown Creek and Bushwick Inlet.

Operations Manager EJ Lee watches the Canada geese fly from the Bushwick Inlet, whose banks are covered in Bladderwrack

Operations Manager EJ Lee watches the Canada geese fly from the Bushwick Inlet, whose banks are covered in Bladderwrack

HarborLAB will be offering longer open water paddling to the public in Mid-June, because of safety concerns due to exposure to cold water. The temperature of the East River on Sunday was 47ºF, and full length wetsuits are absolutely necessary.

Fellow paddlers out on the East River in their sea kayaks

Fellow paddlers out on the East River in their sea kayaks

Although we had favorable currents, there were barges and ferries on the river, and the wind was a-blowing. We learned very well that it was the first paddle of the year; our sore muscles made sure we knew the next day! As always, paddle safe and paddle smart.

Pat and Sally arming up in the car after the paddle

Pat and Sally warming up in the car after the paddle

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