Meet the Paddlers, Part 1

Everything that happens at NBBC, from sunset paddles to bridge-shaking parties, is powered by our amazing member-volunteers. On the water, our trip leaders, trip assistants, and program volunteers make it possible for NBBC to fulfill its mission: enabling and advocating for human-powered boating on the waterways bordering North Brooklyn.

We want you all to know who they are! If you see any these people around the club or out on the water, say hi, and thank them for volunteering their time and skills to keep North Brooklyn boating! So there’s a new Trip Leaders and Volunteers page on the NBBC website. Here are a couple of the fantastically skilled and generous people that you can learn about there:


Canoe Programming Coordinator
Canoe trip leader

Patterson shows wildlife thriving in the Living Dock to a class from St. Joseph College

Patterson shows off the wildlife thriving in the Living Dock

Q. How did you first find North Brooklyn Boat Club? What’s your origin story as a club member?
A. I discovered the Club at an art event in Whale Creek, called the Newtown Creek Armada, and picked up a card. I joined as some of the last containers were being delivered and found a lot of trips to join, both kayak and canoe.

Q. What kind of background and experience with paddling did you have before you joined, in general and in NYC specifically?
A. Zero, pretty much. As a paddler, I am a happy product of NBBC.

Learning is good!

Q.Tell us about a favorite route or trip that you like to use for club paddles.
A. I am one of those who like going places where you can get out of the boats and do something. Going to Costco or the Greenmarket at Socrates Park embodies everything good about human-powered boating. Hallets Cove beach is an easy pick for that.

And by far the majority of my trips are on Newtown Creek, where the Club is ideally situated as a launch point. The best trips are our weekly Summer Birdwatching trips, definitely. I have become a citizen-scientist and learned enough to be a tour guide — I’m no Mitch Waxman or Willis, but I can introduce people to the Creek if they haven’t been before. Newtown Creek is my backyard, and it’s an endlessly fascinating place to visit.


Vincent B. in his kayak

Vince in his kayak

Kayak Programming Coordinator
Kayak trip leader

Q. What kind of background and experience with paddling did you have before you joined?
A. I had kayaked and canoed before in the Adirondacks as well as fished from a kayak in the Long island Sound. Never did I have any skills training, but being a surfer from Long Island, I grew up loving the water. I was looking for a group of people that shared a passion for environmental protection of New York’s marine ecology. I found it paddling in Brooklyn, NY.

Q. How did you become a trip leader?
A. I wanted to take on a volunteer leadership role to bring kayaking to more club members. The trips leaders started me off as a trip assistant familiarizing myself with the local waterways. I took it upon myself to get American Canoe Association trip-leading training and started planning and leading trips with other trip leaders until I was able to do it on my own.

Vince surfs it in!

Vince surfs it in!

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

Patterson, Willis, and Brian with a visiting class