Sohn.Org

 

Yes, that is the World Trade Center behind, from closest to furthest, it is me, Jeremy and Tim. I think John took the picture, but I do not remember.Kayaking Header

It was about 1997 or so. I was still keeping my boat at the Downtown Boathouse - there still was a Downtown Boathouse - which was on the Hudson, on Desbrosses Street. A remarkable time that was.

In this part of my Web site I will try to get across to you some of the aspects of urban kayaking, and sea kayaking. By "aspects," I mean the mood, the feel, the thrill of it; and it was a thrill to kayak on the Hudson River down to the Narrows, and all in between. We did three trips around Manhattan Island, a memorable feat in itself. My boat was a Seda Glider. It was about 20' long (okay, 19'6") and 21 inches wide, kind of like paddling a telephone pole, but was it ever a fast boat. Made of Kevlar, it weighed a lot less than the fiberglass boats most serious kayakers paddled. My first boat was a blue plastic thing that weighed more than twice as much as the Glider.Seda, Jeremy, MeThis is a picture of me holding the boat over my head and Jeremy giving a hand to stabilize it. In the foreground it looks like David's folding boat. Jer is wearing his drysuit, I am in my wetsuit, so it likely was not too cold out.

The boat was a dream to paddle. I only sold it when I realized that because of the cancer and the anemia I would likely not be paddling again. Also, only a fool paddles alone in the winter and on the big water, and Jeremy was my paddling buddy, but he married and left New York.

We had so much fun at the Downtown Boathouse that it kind of chokes me up when I think of it, and how it is all gone now. It was there that I had been paddling and came in early one autumn evening, put my boat away and was just watching as the tide went out. Then a paddler needed help getting his boat up to the pier. So I went and helped him. He was John Kennedy, Jr. I told him how I had met his mother back in 1966 while I was riding across the Winston Guest estate (now part of C. W. Post). She crossed my path and said to me, "My what a lovely horse." I tipped my hat and thanked her. What stands out in my mind is how big her feet were - go figure.

John Kennedy, Jr. said to me, "Oh, really?" That was the extent of my conversation with him. It was not long after this that he was dead.