Tag Archives: community

COVID-19 Paddling Protocols for NBBC

Because of the ongoing pandemic, this season is going to look much different for North Brooklyn Community Boathouse (North Brooklyn Boat Club). We want more than anything to go back to serving our community in the best way we know: by connecting local residents and visitors to their local waters and their rich history and ecology as well as the joy of being out on them in a human-powered boat.

But because safety is our top priority, we have have come up with the following protocols to keep NBBC trip leaders and trip leaders in training on the water while we hope that the pandemic soon ends. The trip leaders and assistants will stay in training and make sure they are aware of current conditions on the East River and Newtown Creek. We all hope to one day soon bring NBBC members and the wider community back on the water once more.

See the bottom of this post for some pictures from the first trips of the season.

Pandemic Social Distance and Sanitization Protocols

For Qualified Paddlers

At this time only Official Paddlers who are active members of the boathouse and their guest member (1 per official paddler) are qualified to paddle using North Brooklyn Community Boathouse equipment. All guest members must be Advanced Paddlers (canoe and kayak qualifications are on the website), and everyone must sign a waiver.

The North Brooklyn Community Boathouse does not and cannot ensure that paddlers using the facility will be protected from exposure to the COVID-19 virus. All paddlers and anyone using the facility acknowledge and accept that this already risky activity now carries another layer of danger and that NBCB cannot be responsible for your safety.

  • Paddle in groups of six or less.
  • Wear masks on shore (wherever you are launching/landing) at all times.
  • Maintain social distance (6 feet) at all times except in an emergency.
  • Wash hands with soap & water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer, before opening containers.
  • First person in the container should wipe down all high use touchpoints (locks, container handles, etc.) with sanitizing wipes or cleaner (as available).
  • Only one person should be in a container at a time unless two are needed to pull out or return a boat.
  • Use the trip log to document your trip; include time out, time back, and the names of participating paddlers.
  • On return, wash hands with soap for 20 seconds and/or use hand sanitizer
  • Hose down and scrub with soap/disinfectant all hard-surface equipment (boats, paddles, radios, spray skirts pumps etc.).
  • IMPORTANT NOTE: PFD’s and kayak skirts ARE NOT TO BE SHARED. Members who do not own a PFD and/or a skirt shall be allowed to “adopt” one from the club, take home and maintain properly. You must, of course, return any “adopted” equipment when asked. (follow directions posted in the container when adopting PFD and/or skirt)
    Last one out of the container should wipe down all high-use touchpoints (locks, container handles, etc.) using sanitizing wipes or a cleaner (as available)
  • After returning equipment to the containers, everyone must leave the boatyard. There can be no gatherings (not required to launch or land) in the boatyard.

All other boathouse policies and protocols still apply. Failure to comply with the above may result in loss of paddling privileges. We will continue to review the government regulations and recommendations and look forward to opening our facilities to all as soon as we can!

In the meantime, life on the river continues. The cormorants have returned, and their young are almost fledged. The ferry traffic is much reduced. We love the waters and the people of New York City and can’t wait to bring them together again.

NBBC at the Lost Islands of New York Concert

On October 19, 2019, NBBC took its fleet of Clipper Canoes and a few other boats and formed a large portion of the audience at the Tideland Institute‘s Lost Islands of New York Concert in Newtown Creek’s Turning Basin, once the site of Mussel Island. From aboard the Shoofly Pie, the Wollesonics played to a crowd in canoes and rowboats on a perfect fall afternoon.

With the canoe crowd around the Shoofly Pie, the Tideland Institute’s Lost Islands of New York concert, October 19, 2019

We paddled in a mix of NBBC members and folks from the North Brooklyn community and beyond, joining others who had paddled from Plank Road and the Newtown Creek Nature Walk and Long Island City Community Boathouse for a concert like none other, an event accessible to those ready to reclaim the public waters and show up to evoke an island that was destroyed to make way for industry.

Atop the Shoofly Pie, the Tideland Institute’s Lost Islands of New York concert, October 19, 2019

Gathering where Mussel Island once broke up the creek, we posited a different history, where the waters of New York were not used by the few for their own benefit but honored and celebrated by everyone as a precious thing that belongs to no one — and so belongs to all of us.

Plus, the band rocked out.

Also see this article from Gothamist about the show, and more great pictures.

The Next Public Paddle Is October 5!

The 2019 Public Paddles are going on at Manhattan Avenue Street End Park!

North Brooklyn Boat Club’s 2019 Public Paddle series really takes the paddling to the public! And October 5 is the last scheduled Public Paddle for 2019!

Through the generous partnership of NYC Parks, we are holding our 2019 Public Paddles in the Manhattan Avenue Street End Park at the very top of Greenpoint. Come join us for fellowship with your friends and neighbors and paddling on the waters of New York City!


View Larger Map

At these free, informal paddles, YOUR community boating organization, North Brooklyn Boat Club, welcomes walk-up participants to Manhattan Avenue Street End Park to join to join trained NBBC guides for short trips on Newtown Creek and often out toward the East River, where we pause to take in the view of Manhattan. Using our new fleet of 29′ canoes, everyone on the paddle works together under expert instruction to forge a unique NYC experience, seeing the city in a new way.

Paddle instruction before hitting the water!

Public paddles are free and open to everyone. We especially hope to welcome our Brooklyn neighbors to see the city the way we love to see it — from the water. In particular, we are proud to welcome other nonprofit community organizations to join us and relax from the hard work of making the world a little bit better.

We will try to get everyone who shows up on the water, but the earlier you arrive the better your chance of going on a paddle. All our voyages are led by certified trip leaders and include some of the best views of the city. This is a great way to check out the neighborhood and get a chance to explore the local waterways. Paddling is free! Our public paddles are child and pet friendly.

Got it?

In case of inclement weather, check our website the day of the Public Paddle to make sure we’re still on!

This year’s schedule (subject to change; please check our Calendar of Events):

  • Saturday, May 11, 12-4 PM
  • Saturday, May 25, 12-4 PM
  • Saturday, June 1, 12-4 PM
  • Saturday, June 15, 12-4 PM
  • Saturday, July 27, 12-4 PM
  • Saturday, August 24, 12-4 PM
  • Saturday, September 7, 12-4 PM
  • Saturday, October 5, 12-4 PM

At MASE: Blue skies, full boats–can’t lose!

Public paddle, August 19, 2017

NBBC Benefit Party October 6 at Brooklyn Barge!

Flyer for NBBC benefit party October 6, 6 PM, Brooklyn Barge, showing Manhattan skline and and kayaks in the East River from Brooklyn shore
Please join North Brooklyn Boat Club at this fundraiser party to help pay for a new dock at Barge to facilitate easier (and four-season) access to the water and to support for all of our fantastic programming!

  • THIS SUNDAY!
  • October 6
  • 6 PM – Midnight
  • Brooklyn Barge, 79 West St at Milton St.
  • $5 admission

We can’t wait to see you there!