One day last summer the Big Guy came home with a large box and two life preservers announcing we were now the proud owners of an inflatable kayak.
We took it out of the box and launched it only once last summer and then again a couple of weeks ago. I named it the SS Barracuda after the barracuda I caught in Jamaica last spring.
Orchard Beach has a lagoon with a kayak and canoe launch. Who knew? After passing the “toll booths” into the beach parking lot, make a left and head to the northwest corner. The launch is there.
The lagoon is actually quite calm and restful. We like to drift and watch the shadows on the trees cast by the airplanes on descent into LaGuardia.
The SS Barracuda is a two person kayak and we haven’t ventured out beyond this protected lagoon. It opens out into the mouth of the Long Island Sound after all and I’m a little chicken about mixing in with boat traffic and tides in an inflatable kayak. I can feel the current sloshing under my cheeks and that’s just enough for me for now.
Our paddling technique, though, is getting better, we spin around less. (Our paddle was too short, better once we extended it.) We met canoers who’d spent a couple of hours out. There are many small islands off the coast of the Bronx. One couple told us they went out to “the bridge”. I thought the Throgs Neck Bridge, but we think she was referring to the City Island Bridge, which would be a much safer trip.
Sunday morning I made pancakes and turkey sausage, filled our thermoses with steaming hot chai, packed it all up and we ate outside at Orchard Beach. I wanted to see how the snow was looking. The Big Guy agreed, but he really did not want to go. I could tell. But the beach was so beautiful. All the tree branches were shimmering with ice. I was reminded of that silver tinsel we’d hang from the Christmas tree for icicles. I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen trees so silvery. Almost every surface was wrapped in a skin of ice. The pancakes were still warm when we unwrapped them and buttery and syrupy and cooling quickly. What was most startling was the sound of the ice crackling and snapping over our heads — it was melting. Soon we had an arc of squawking gulls and pigeons around us. Skittish creatures. But their hungry distance was slowly closing in. Soon we packed up our plates and walked up the boardwalk a bit, then veered off onto the sand — crunchy snow covered sand. The Big Guy was laughing. “This beach looks like Mars.” We walked out of the snow into the ocean. Our boots ankle high in the water. We looked for horseshoe crabs. We didn’t see any. Actually I can’t think of a better start to the New Year.
Happy New Year Dear Readers!
p.s. If you’d like the recipe for the pancakes (made entirely from scratch!) I’d be happy to email it to you. Just contact me through the comment field below.