Saturday, August 8, 2015

To the Intrepid

Last weekend I ran a trip to the Intrepid. The Intrepid is a retired US Navy aircraft carrier, situated on the Hudson in midtown and presented as and air, sea, and space museum (complete with recovered space capsule and space shuttle - albeit one that never went into space). You can visit before catching a matinee of Wicked. In any case, it's well within reach of the Pier 40 ranch, especially when you leave on a flood tide.

Paddling along - Empire State Building in Background.

It took no time at all to get there -half an hour or so. We had at least two knots of current with us, and a small, strong group (all women, I should mention). At about 2.5 miles, it took us just about half an hour - the only delay was avoiding a water taxi that decided to pass in front of us after looking like he'd pass port to port and come in behind us.

The Intrepid.

Once there, we saw familiar sights -well familiar to some. One of our group had never been. The facility has a Concorde, an old submarine, and the Intrepid itself. The giant garage on deck in this photo is where they keep the space shuttle.

Well met.

We ran into some familiar faces. Another shop operated directly south of the Intrepid.

Larking About.

We also took group photos.

Now, the Cowgirl noticed her little squad had difficulty moving into position for a good photo, so at this point she started formulating an impromptu lesson plan.

We started on the way back. It would take longer, since the current was slack at best.

The clouds.

We were rather taken by these clouds - puffy near the city, but clearly streaked by some higher-speed winds farther aloft in altitude.

Once past the ferry terminals, we pulled into a little embayment, protected from current and traffic. The issue I'd spotted earlier was the draw stroke - why is this so tricky? It's a simple stroke but requires some precision to be effective. I demonstrated it and had them practice drawing towards and away from each other.

1. Face your work.
2. Vertical shaft, keep the high hand in position.
3. Draw the power face towards you, then slice to recover.

I demonstrated two methods of recovering the blade - that is, getting it back where it needs to be for the next draw.

Then, I gave them a little game. Rescue my ducks! I have copied this from a really great coach I studied with recently. I toss little rubber duckies and tell my students to rescue them. In this case, immediately to the side, so they had to draw to them.

I ought to mention that in keeping with my personal theme, my ducks have cowboy hats. I named them Dale and Roy.

Approaching Chelsea Piers.

With that, we were on our way, paddling uneventfully, and with more current in our favor - almost as if I planned to stop and kill a little time for the current to speed up.

Near Chelsea Piers, I heard on channel 13 a vessel planning to come out. I got the group over to the side, out of the main channel. Sure enough, a brunch cruise sauntered out, the Badeaux Celestial, which never fails to remind me of Captain Nemo and the Nautilus . . .with a brunch deck.

Who has the better cruise?

Down we went, observing more traffic as we went along.


Finally, we came home to Pier 40, our home base. Such a lovely day!

Afterwards, these two clients left and I had a 1-1 lesson with a student from last year. August has blessed us with good weather. After June's rain and July's unbearable humidity, we have heat, buy gentle breezes and plenty of sun. Summer is flying by, but this Cowgirl for one is making the most of it!

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