Paddling Howland Island NY

Paddling Howland Island NY

The season got off to a fresh start with eight hardy kayakers dressed for whatever weather materialized. It was surprisingly nice, 75 percent sun, blue skies with puffy clouds, no snow, no rain, and very little wind. The predicted 18 mph winds with 35 mph gusts must have blown in another Port Byron. The temperature lingered around 45 degrees, but seemed much warmer on the water, which was a mere 42 degrees.

There were plenty of loud chirping birds warning all the animals that we were coming. Five swans greeted us near the launch in the Erie/Barge Canal and a blue heron couple kept track of us a bit later on the Seneca River. There were plenty of muskrat, a beaver or two (who have been very busy chewing on trees), a few northern harriers (best guess), geese galore, and ducks of many varieties. The water was quite high. Note the water line on the trees, which showed it had receded about 3 feet. Lawn furniture, swing set, barbecues, and entire camps were surrounded by water. At the halfway point beside the new bridge over the Seneca River, we got out and put in ON THE ROAD. One of the pictures shows the back end of a truck after it passed us.

It was an exhilarating 10.6 mile paddle in the cool fresh air. Back on land, a couple of kayakers brewed some coffee in the back of their truck; others ended the outing with a different brew or pepsi and a tasty warm meal at Pirates Landing just over the bridge where we launched. Argh!! I slept very well that night.

The hardy eight: Bill E, Dave L, Hugh, Christine, Eric, Kim, Mary and Charles.

Report & Images by Kim Wojnowicz and Images by Eric Zhaman

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