Hackensack River Canoe & Kayak Club

paddling for over a third of a century

HAVERSTRAWSEPTEMBER2010008Kayak Haverstraw
by Betty Wiest

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Today (September 21) is the 230th anniversary of Andre the Spy’s landing on the Hudson River in Haverstraw, NY. After all, the boulder we saw clearly marked the spot…carved was the inscription “ANDRE THE SPY LANDED HERE SEPTEMBER 21, 1780.” There’s a lot of history even in post-Revolutionary War times and the survival of West Point was at stake.

It was an absolutely beautiful Sunday…September 19th. The perfect day to paddle! The Hudson River was mirror-like when we launched our boats at Haverstraw Bay County Park. The group included, George and Christine, Elana, Carolyn, Steve, Ken, Andy, and myself.

We set out into this amazing river heading downstream into perfectly calm water…not a ripple in the river. We paddled past another Haverstraw park and came to the backside of a major Tilcon plant. Just another scenic (a bit of humor) scene and, of course, everyone insisted on taking a group photo with the plant in the background!

Paddling further downriver, we passed a residence that displayed a large number of carved heads. (Years ago the sculptor had been written up in the NY Times.) They are fascinating and reminded one of the paddlers of heads from the Easter Islands.

Underway once again, Christine and George spotted an eagle, clearly visible from our location. With binoculars in hand, I was able to enjoy viewing the eagle in a more intimate way perched not far from the shoreline.

A bit more exercise and we were ready for lunch. We were able to land our boats on a comfortable sandy beach with plenty of room for all our kayaks and them some. The site was even more interesting to discover an old ruin nearby. Signs of a campfire were evident from other visitors.

The Hudson was coming alive with a number of barges traveling north and south creating mild swells and churning up the water. Sailboats were setting out from local marinas.

The return trip was marked by paddling underneath and between several empty Buchanan barges anchored in the river. Because the barges were empty, we were able to easily paddle the dark cavern with scattered tires serving as chandeliers dispersing rays of light from above.

We were back at the park clearly landmarked with green roofed pavilions by about 1 p.m.. This half-day paddle seemed to fulfill the interests of most of us who had lots of chores to accomplish in the afternoon.