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.
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.
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.
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.
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.