Last Sunday’s Open House was hopping, with a season-high turnout of 66 guests. A dozen members of a fitness boot camp arrived for the first wave, and things never really slowed down after that.
Luckily our run of gorgeous weather continued, with sunny skies and a northward current that enabled all three waves to paddle south toward the George Washington Bridge.
Akanke Small only started paddling this summer – if you don’t count a couple of excursions in the sixth grade – but she’s already become a boathouse regular.
“My friend Rich Lopez, he’s friends and a coworker of Luis, who’s a member here," she says. "So he came out a couple of times and then told me to come here. That’s how I found out about it, and I’ve been coming ever since."
Asked what surprised her the most about paddling, she says it's the sense of calm she feels on the water. “And if the boat shakes for whatever reason, if there’s a wake coming – or for instance two weeks ago I came with a friend, and he was making a lot of jokes and like, trying to threaten me – a survival thing comes in," she explains. "I’m like: I will not fall out of the boat. I’m going to get to my destination. There’s some sort of focus.
“I look forward to each experience paddling. I look forward to this so much. When I go to work, I’m like, okay, how many hours until the end of the day? How many hours until Sunday morning?”
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