Open House Week 11: The Circ

Some multicolored sit-on-tops just joined the fleet this week and were a hit at Open House.

Some multicolored sit-on-tops just joined the fleet this week and were a hit at Open House.

Last weekend’s Manhattan Circumnavigation got rescheduled due to rain, and that created a perfect storm of activity at the boathouse on Sunday.

Several paddlers doing “the Circ,” including some from our club, launched from our dock before Open House. As soon as they were safely on their way, everyone scrambled to get boats ready for the oncoming waves of guests.

After Open House, Julie led a rescue workshop for a handful of paddlers. And that night, Steve Welch (aka Mystery Steve) orchestrated a post-Circ cookout called the Landing Party that helped the ICC net some cash for future boat purchases.

It all went off just fine, thanks to many members and friends of the boathouse who put in extra time and effort.

The Open House guests paddled north toward Spuyten Duyvil and back under grey skies. Joris Stucyk filled in for the absent Kevin as Dockmaster and ensured the mood stayed relaxed and fun.

Among the Circ paddlers was Steve Salchow (aka Violin Steve, aka Philadelphia Steve), who was doing the 30-plus mile trip for the first time.

“It was grueling,” he said at the Landing Party. “I’m wiped out. When we got to the lunch stop, it was about two-thirds of the way, and I collapsed.”

After a good rest, however, he finished without any trouble. Salchow enjoyed the chance to see the island from all sides – especially the far reaches of the East Side.

“There’s a lot of industrial scenery, and some of it looks abandoned. It’s another world,” he said.

One thing he didn’t particularly notice was the famed Hell Gate – a narrow strait in the East River where currents from the Harlem River and Long Island Sound converge.  If you don’t time it right, Hell Gate can offer up an unappetizing stew of strong currents, turbulence, swirling waters and submerged hazards. Clearly this crossing was timed right.

“When we reached the lunch stop they said ‘stop here, don’t continue on to Hell Gate,’ he recalled. “That was the only hint we had where Hell Gate was.”

Landing Party guests enjoyed burgers, grilled veggies, drinks ... and this view.

Landing Party guests enjoyed burgers, grilled veggies, drinks ... and this view.

Most Open Houses aren't as eventful as this one ... but they're all pretty great. Want to see for yourself? Find out how.