Hackensack River Canoe & Kayak Club

paddling for over a third of a century

Barnegat Bay Sedge Islands
by Cory Wong

When: Saturday, September 20, 2014 at 10:00 am

Where: Island Beach South end Kayak and Canoe Launch

Participants: Monica Orso, Jim Galher, Ed Rumain, Mike Rubin and myself

Conditions: Morning 10:00am – 11:45am - bright clear sunny skies and calm waters
Noon 12pm – 1:30pm - scattered clouds and partial sun with calm waters and occasional strong winds with incoming tides
Afternoon 1:30pm – 3:00pm - bright skies with winds from the south and incoming tides

Sightings: 1 young flying osprey, 1 peregrine (very rare sighting, see pic 7) , multiple white egrets, 1 red brown egret, numerous cormorants, various pelicans, several SUP paddle boarders, canoers and 1 illegal wind surfer (who was later ticketed by park patrol)

Synopsis: Trip launched after 10:20 am under beautiful skies, after traffic jam at launch site with single lane road in and same road out. Our heading was northwest toward Sedge Island House with Monica testing out her new 17.5’ Tiderace kayak. As we navigated counter clock wise around the island we noticed that the osprey’s nest have been vacated. Paddling through the sedge grass islands and passages we encountered a number of serious calmer who as we later discovered harvested their very limit of 150 calm per person. Heading south to a beach across Barnegat Lighthouse we sighted a very rare peregrine (not a sea bird) perched on the osprey nest. She took off clutching a fish in toll (must have acquired a taste for seafood considering they’re primarily meat eaters). As we continued south we encountered stiff head winds and an incoming tides which directed us back across to Island beach where we lunched. After lunch Monica lead us through some nature trails on the bay side of Island beach with countless number of mosquito ditches an abandon duck blind (see pics). All and all a very nice paddle day. Now to see how crowded the take out site would be, as we landed, crowd seem reasonable but within the next 15 minutes major traffic jam. No problem, every boater taking their turn until a female non-boater came in and parked diagonally taking several spots as she played with her Lab. Now, Monica being Monica then proceeded to explain the protocols of proper parking etiquette which resulted in a very spirited discussion. But all is well and we ended our day at Bum Rodgers for some refreshments before heading home.