Farewell to Paddling Season: Happy Fall!

Paddleface Is Ready to Paddle

Paddleface Is Ready to Paddle

Halloween marks the end of the paddling season for NBBC, but club activities will go on throughout the fall and winter! Nautical crafts, the NBBC book club, boat repair, and more will be posted to the Calendar.

So keep an eye out and come down to the boatyard for fires, fellowship, and fun.

Paddleface is waiting for you!

Paddleface, Paddleface, Paddleface!

Paddleface, Paddleface, Paddleface!

Your insular city of the Manhattoes, belted round by wharves as Indian isles by coral reefs . . .

Manhattan Circ, October 1-2, 2016: Water break under the George Washington Bridge

Manhattan Circ, October 1-2, 2016: Water break under the George Washington Bridge


It has been many years since Herman Melville wrote those words at the beginning of Moby-Dick, but Manhattan and its wharves endure, and wanderlust and adventure still call to those who ply its waters. Once again, NBBC responded, and on Saturday, October 1, at 10 PM, a crew of twenty paddlers embarked on on the club’s annual circumnavigation of Manhattan.
Manhattan Circ, October 1-2, 2016: Peter Jay Sharpe boat house, Harlem River

Manhattan Circ, October 1-2, 2016: Peter Jay Sharpe boat house, Harlem River


We followed the tidal currents counterclockwise around the island, launching in a headwind and drizzle in the East River. That same wind was waiting for us eight hours later when we came around the Battery and once again entered home waters, cruising up the East River as dawn, hidden behind high clouds, brought the city back to life around us.
Manhattan Circ, October 1-2, 2016: East River, early morning

Manhattan Circ, October 1-2, 2016: East River, early morning


We had seen the city in a way many people never get to: fog lights lighting up the low clouds over the bulking cliffs of Upper Manhattan, cruise ships making way up the Hudson to bring their loads of tourists to Manhattan at dawn, the fearless and proprietary rats of Riverside Park at 4 AM . . .
Manhattan Circ, October 1-2, 2016: In the Hudson

Manhattan Circ, October 1-2, 2016: In the Hudson


But what felt most true was that these sights were not foreign, not alien, but part and parcel of our life in our city. That as strange as the night might have looked, however much we might have confused those who saw us passing under the twenty bridges or landing on the city’s forgotten wharves, we were at home, a part of the life of the city.
Manhattan Circ, October 1-2, 2016: Fog lights on the GWB

Manhattan Circ, October 1-2, 2016: Fog lights on the GWB


Though, real talk: those bagels were pretty important when we got back.
Manhattan Circ, October 1-2, 2016: Breakfast!

Manhattan Circ, October 1-2, 2016: Breakfast!


What are you doing next fall? Why not join in?
Manhattan Circ, October 1-2, 2016: The crew assembles!

Manhattan Circ, October 1-2, 2016: The crew!

Celebrating the Wildlife of Newtown Creek

Canada goose, East River, May 2014. Photo by Klaus S.

Canada goose, East River, May 2014. Photo by Klaus S.

We Are Not Alone . . .

On most Fridays this summer, NBBC trip leaders have organized birdwatching paddles on Newtown Creek. These trips along the heavily industrialized and abused waterway have made it clear how resilient the birds of New York are and how they find a way to thrive even in the toughest circumstances.

A great egret in Dutch Kill

A great egret in Dutch Kill

Dutch Kills, which in the language of the indigenous inhabitants of Greenpoint was called “bears’ watering place,” is one of the most polluted sections of the creek, slow to cleanse from spills and overflows, but it is home and resting place for great egrets, black-crowned night heron, yellow-crowned night heron, green heron, plovers, cormorants, geese, and many other birds.
Great egret, in Dutch Kills, Birdwatching Paddle, August 5, 2016

Great egret in Dutch Kills, Birdwatching Paddle, August 5, 2016


We share the waterways of New York with many creatures, and many of these would remain mysteries if we were not out on the water, exploring our home in order to see the it anew and know it in new ways, as if for the first time.
A great egret spotted through binoculars on a Newtown Creek paddle, July 7, 2016

A great egret spotted through binoculars on a Newtown Creek paddle, July 7, 2016


And sometimes the charismatic megafauna is in the boat with us!
Bushwick Inlet Paddle, August 8, 2016

Bushwick Inlet Paddle, August 8, 2016

Explore Local Waters with NBBC and NCA This Saturday

This Saturday, October 15, offers two chances to join NBBC and the Newtown Creek Alliance to explore the waters of Newtown Creek and learn about the local environment:

GCEF Open House
Celebrate fall in Greenpoint at the first annual OpenHouse GCEF:
From green roofs and parks to birds and boats, OpenHouseGCEF offers Greenpointers a chance to see GCEF projects in action and learn firsthand how they are making our community and healthier, safer, and “greener” place to live.

Saturday, 10/15, 11 AM-3PM, at four locations: McCarren Park, McGolrick Park, the NBBC boatyard on Newtown Creek, and the Kingsland Wildflowers Rooftop.
Science in the ED Shed
Come by the ED Shed at NBBC!

That same day, NBBC and NCA present the last in a series of water-quality boat trips on Newtown Creek!

NCA Water Quality Paddle

NCA Water Quality Paddle

On this special series of on-water tours, we will examine and discuss current water-quality trends for Newtown Creek. NCA is soon to complete an intensive 6 month water sampling program in conjunction with LaGuardia Community College. We have been collected data on water-quality health for parameters like bacteria, oxygen, and nutrients – all factors that vary in different locations in Newtown Creek – as well as factors like temperature and rainfall.

Following an on-land introduction and presentation on water quality issues, the group will take to the Creek with the North Brooklyn Boat Club and paddle to particular areas of interest and conduct live testing.

The event will also help inform local residents about greater water quality themes within NYC and how we can help improve the environmental conditions for ourselves and generations to follow. These events are made possible with funding provided by the New York State Office of the Attorney General and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation through the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund.

For more information and to register, please go to the NBBC Events Calendar.