Launching the S.S. Barracuda


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.

The Orchard Beach Lagoon is one of five kayak and canoe launches in the Bronx on the New York City Water Trail.  A permit is required to put a canoe / kayak in the water (it’s accessible from the NYC Parks Department).
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