Hackensack River Canoe &
Great Kills Harbor
Richmond County Yacht Club
by Laurie Cochran
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Bob Larson, an HRCKC member and a member of Richmond County Yacht Club in Staten Island, NY, graciously invited fellow HRCKC members to visit and spend a day at their yacht club. Gateway National Seashore surrounds Great Kills Harbor. Twenty-five members took him up on the offer.
Bob and several other RCYC members met us and helped to lower our boats to the docks. A delicious breakfast was waiting for us in the clubhouse upon our arrival. Groups of paddlers set off at different times during the day. There was so much to do! We climbed into our boats from the docks and paddled off into the harbor. Sailboat masts surrounded us. There was a pleasant breeze. Sea gulls and Terns flew overhead and we got a glimpse of small fish leaping out of the water. The sky was a beautiful blue. It was a perfect day.
After a leisurely paddle around the harbor, several members paddled up to the beach, being careful to dodge the fisherman’s lines. We enjoyed a nice, cool swim. There were a few horseshoe crabs joining us. They weren’t shy either. It was mating season and they weren’t bothered by us humans standing around in the water intrigued by them. One of our members, George M. brought along his gorgeous wooden kayak he built. A few members tried it out and were impressed with how nice it paddled.
As we walked around the shoreline, we collected polished Sea Glass. (A hobby of mine). The constant churning in the water and the sand naturally wears the edges of the colorful glass down to a smooth edge. Very pretty when put in a jar or making into jewelry!
Several Ospreys flew overhead and I was very surprised to see a flock of PIGEONS feeding along the waters edge. It was almost lunch time for us humans too, so we paddled back to the RCYC clubhouse and enjoyed cocktails, cold beer and grilled burgers on the deck under shady umbrellas. The burgers were huge and the salads delicious! One member brought a fabulous apple pie from her local farm, which we all shared. Thanks Gail!
Some of us then ventured out for a ride on the “tender” boat. It’s the motorboat that transports the owners to their boats attached to the moorings. One of our members, John S. has his Catalina Sailboat out there. He invited us to climb aboard. We enjoyed the gentle breezes as we sat and conversed. It was so relaxing!
Later on, John put a call out to the “tender” boat, which stopped by to pick us all up and transport us back to the club dock. It was truly a great day on the water!
It was so nice of Bob to organize this day for our HRCKC members. And a big thanks to the fine members of Richmond County Yacht Club!
> Monica Orso's photos
> Jeff Kelley's photos