Kayaking on the Hudson

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Trip Report - YakJam - Norwalk, Ct.

Ron's Pirate ship greeted us at the launch
Paddling among the islands off Norwalk, Ct.
Anyone who lives within driving distance of Norwalk, Ct. should check out this awesome, grassroots event.  It takes place every August on the weekend that is closest to the full moon.  It is hosted by the Stamford Kayak meet-up group and is a truly grassroots effort.  Individuals show up along with groups of paddlers from area clubs.
Dramatic sunset over Norwalk
I went along with five other paddlers from the Mid-Hudson chapter of the ADK.  We met up Friday at the public beach in East Norwalk and launched around 4pm.  The paddle out to Shea Island took about 30 minutes.  Once on the island, we set up our tents, and then went for a late day paddle around some of the islands.  After dinner, we went out for a moonlight paddle and witnessed the coolest sunset I have ever seen while paddling.  What struck me the most was that behind us was a brilliant sunset, while in front of us; it was dark with a full moon reflecting off the water.
Kayaking the full moon, Norwalk, Ct.
Saturday is the main day of YakJam and many paddlers show up just for the day.  During the day, there were various paddles along with talks and clinics.  I went for a morning paddle, and then caught the discussion on wave physics.  After that, I participated in the rescue practice and the Coast Guard flare demonstration.  There was also a paddle led by a naturalist, a hands-on talk about the intertidal zone, and several clean-up paddles to nearby islands.
Tom Galvin with Peter (YakJam organizer)
The forecast called for rain Saturday night and all day Sunday, so we broke camp and headed out before it got dark.  There are normally paddles and clean-ups scheduled for Sunday as well.
Throughout the weekend, I met many nice people, got to check out some fantastic kayaks and enjoyed the beautiful scenery of the area.  Although donations are welcomed, the event is completely free and open to anyone who wants to attend.   One note- the bugs on the island are horrific.  During the day, you can get away with some bug spray, but only if you stay away from the plants inland.  At night, you will get eaten alive if you are not wearing a bug screen suit or head cover.
Bug headnet and bodysuit

For more info:

See you on the water,
Don Urmston

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