A crew of nine intrepid kayakers finally headed out into Jamaica Bay for a paddle on Saturday, January 8. Their destination was Ruffle Bar, the large marsh island midway between Floyd Bennett Field and Broad Channel. One of the favorite rituals of Sebago Canoe Club members is the annual Frostbite Regatta. Usually held on New Year’s Day, the event was snowdelayed for a week this year.
When the paddlers returned to the group’s Canarsie clubhouse, more than 20 additional members had gathered. The stove had been cranked up with a load of red hot firewood, a pot of fragrant mulled cider was simmering, Chef Steve Heinzerling’s marinated pork shoulder was warming over a sterno, and various pies, cookies, and the club favorite, chocolate and mocha coated almonds, awaited them. A short business meeting was held to discuss grant applications and vote in new senior members. Next weekend the winter revelers of Sebago head to Jones Beach, where the best local seal watching can be enjoyed. Dry suits are required.
A raccoon munching on mussels barely paid the boaters a glance, as they enjoyed their favorite mid-paddle nosh on Fig Newtons. For information on membership in Sebago, visit the club’s website at www.sebagocanoeclub.org.
The group engaged in general merriment, involving a great deal of ice cracking and sliding. One stranded paddler who ventured too far had to inch his way along the ice on his hands until he reached the water again.
Of course there are always a few showoffs who decide to roll upside down in the frigid water.