Category Archives: Uncategorized

Double the Public, Double the Paddle

Rains the day before and the attendant CSOs kept North Brooklyn Boat Club from launching sit-on-top kayaks from Manhattan Avenue Street End park on Saturday, August 19, but they could not stop the first Public Paddle to expand to a second location!

Loading the first NBBC boat to launch from MASE! Public paddle, August 19, 2017

NBBC’s mission is to enable and advocate for human-powered boating on the waterways of new York City, especially around our Greenpoint home. We hope to enable local citizens to be effective stewards of the ecology and so preserve the recreation and freedom that the waterways engender. Thanks to special help from the New York City Parks Department, we were able to expand our efforts to fulfill that mission by getting members of the public on the waters of Newtown Creek from the park at the end of Manhattan Avenue as well as our Broadway Stages Boatyard at 51 Ash St.

At MASE: Blue skies, full boats–can’t lose! Public paddle, August 19, 2017

Check out our Paddle Gallery for more pictures from the day and from other NBBC trips. And there’s at least one more Public Paddle to come in 2017: September 16!

One boat launches from MASE while another passes on its way to the mouth of the creek.

Come join us then!

What a Bridge It Was: Farewell to the Kosciuszko

Newtown Creek, April 10, 2017

Newtown Creek, April 2017

After seventy-eight years of service, the Kosciuszko Bridge was dismantled and carried away by barge on July 26, 2017. A few NBBC members gathered to watch it go and bid farewell to Newtown Creek’s highest landmark.

Visit the NBBC Paddle Gallery to see some sights from the day as the Koscisuzko takes one last voyage.

To the Bitter End, Newtown Creek, July 21, 2016

To the Bitter End, Newtown Creek, July 21, 2016

Public Paddle CANCELED for 7/29

Alas, the weather looks rough for Saturday, with high winds all day and a good chance of rain. So we have decided to cancel this week’s public paddle. But don’t despair! There’s another on the schedule for August 19!

Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!
You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout
Till you have drench’d our steeples, drown’d the cocks!
You sulphurous and thought-executing fires,
Vaunt-couriers to oak-cleaving thunderbolts,
Singe my white head! And thou, all-shaking thunder,
Smite flat the thick rotundity o’ the world!

Cormorant off the NBBC dock, 10/31/2016

Sayeth the cormorant.

Meet the Paddlers, Part 5

NBBC exists to enable and advocate for human-powered boating on the waterways bordering Greenpoint and Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in particular, and all through the New York Harbor. It is a community organization, and the member-volunteers — trip leaders, trip assistants, and program volunteers — who keep us on the water come from that community and give back to it by making NBBC programming happen.

Here are two more of those amazing volunteers. So if you see Amy, Peter, or any of our trip leaders and volunteers around the club or out on the water, say hi, and thank them for lending their time and skills to keep North Brooklyn boating!

And visit the Trip Leaders and Volunteers page on the NBBC website to learn more about them!


Canoe trip leader

Public paddle, 2015

Amy in the bow at a public paddle, 2015

Q. Tell us about a favorite route or trip that you like to use for club paddles.
One of my favorite trips is Hallets Cove with a Roosevelt Island circ. It’s a great trip length, and it’s always fun to get some ice cream from Costco and check out what’s going on in the Socrates Sculpture Garden. And coming back via the west channel is really fun. I’m also a huge fan of public paddles; you can find me sterning one of the big canoes at most of them. I love encouraging new people to come out on the water and learn about the Creek and what NBBC is all about.

Q. Tell us one of your favorite stories about a particular club trip.
My first City of Water trip was incredible. It was so fun to see so many other people-powered boats out and about and to know we were all headed to the same place and that everyone else on the water knew it was happening. It was a great sense of community. Crossing Buttermilk Channel for the first time was exciting, and when we got to Governors Island, exploring with other NBBC folks was amazing! When we camped that night (this is the only day you can camp on Governors Island!), after a wonderful dinner, much talking, and stargazing, I slept under the open sky, and it was wonderful. To this day, I’ve only ever been to Governors Island by canoe, and I kind of like it that way — it changes how I think about the place.

Prepping for big canoe rescue training, May 2016.

Prepping for big canoe rescue training, May 2016.

Peter Tiso

Canoe trip leader

Pete gives Public Paddle paddle prep

Pete provides the public Public Paddle paddle prep

Q. How did you first find North Brooklyn Boat Club? What’s your origin story as a club member?
Back when NBBC was still meeting at the Brooklyn Rod & Gun, I went to go write about them for Greenpointers. I nervously sat around a table eating peanuts and surrounded by people I didn’t yet know would become my friends, but I knew they were on to something. I held a relevant merit badge from the prestigious Boy Scouts of America, but my canoeing was pretty rusty when I first got to the club. When I brought down my old canoe to donate and Willis took me out in the middle of the river at night for the first time, I was totally hooked.

Q. Tell us about a favorite route or trip that you like to use for club paddles.
I really love the trip from Greenpoint to Brooklyn Bridge Park. The feeling of having the whole river pushing you both ways is indescribable, and there are many small, interesting places to explore along the way, and the best view of the Williamsburg Bridge is from the water underneath it. After you do it a few times, the tricks of the current around docks and pilings feels like a playground.

Peter on the Creek

Peter on the Creek

Q. Tell us one of your favorite stories about a particular club trip.
Jeff Stark once put on a performance set on the Gowanus Canal called The Dreary Coast, which placed the audience on a barge moving up and down the canal. One night he opened it to people who arrived in their own craft, so we paddled down in one of the 25-foot war canoes. Aside from the performance itself — one of the best uses of forgotten space I’ve ever seen — the trip down and back was memorable. We surprised a tugboat we were coordinating with over the radio with how fast the canoe could go when full of good paddlers, hit some exciting rough water in the harbor, and went out for sandwiches in face paint and life jackets. I think all of our canoeing should be done while dressed as damned souls and our faces painted to terrible masks.

Pranking the kayakers, September 17, 2015

Learn more about Amy, Peter, and other super-skilled and endlessly enthusiastic NBBCers on the Trip Leaders and Volunteers page!