Hackensack River Canoe & Kayak Club

paddling for over a third of a century

DSC 0184Saugatuck River
by Betty Wiest

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sunday mornings are just great days to have lazy paddles. …well not exactly lazy, but certainly sunny, warm Sundays in August are fabulous for paddling with friends.

Sunday morning saw us co-partnering with some members of the Yonkers Paddling and Rowing Club. Several of them were ACA instructors and had lifesaving and rescue experience…which came in quite handy later in the morning.

HRCKC was represented by me, Sumonnat, Manfred, Hatice and Henry. YPRC was represented by five individual paddlers.

It was not quite high tide when we set out from the launch located directly underneath Rt. 95. The water was fairly calm, ideal conditions for people on paddleboards. Once we got into the Long Island Sound, our destination was a red and white free-standing lighthouse. There was a channel to cross and we had almost made it to the lighthouse when the first mishap took place. Members of the YPRC were on the mark getting the paddler back in his boat; only days earlier he had learned how to do a wet exit and get back in his boat. Not panicking was the first important step in learning to experience this rescue process.

We got back underway and paddled out to Cockenoe Island, a favorite with locals. Being Sunday morning, the pleasure boats had already started dropping their anchors, people on paddleboards with small children were making their way around the cove.

Three gals were sunning themselves but graciously moved over to allow our group to sit around the makeshift lumber seats complete with rock campfire and have lunch. The sign overhead read “Tiki Bar”, several seashell mobiles hung from nearby trees. We felt like we could have been in Hawaii.

Back underway, we started to make our way out of the cove and into open water once more. Once we left the comfort of the cove, the water became turbulent in keeping with the number of boats in the water and the increase in the wind. The gentleman who tipped in earlier had another mishap. It was later learned that he had recently bought a narrow sea kayak and the water proved to be too much.

While it is necessary to seek out opportunities to increase one’s skill level, the kind of water we were in was too advanced for him.

We all arrived back at the launch safely. Manfred brought out his goodies (thank you Marianne! Manfred’s wife who bakes the best rum bundt cake.)

A few of us made our way over to the Black Duck Restaurant…a barge barge-type bar on the Saugatuck to finish up the day.