Graeme Birchall’s guide introduces the various physical components of New York Harbor that are relevant to kayakers.  Click here for more info and downloads.


Sharon Wood Wortman of Portland, OR, is writing a book for kids about the bridges in the Portland area. Please support the indiegogo fundraising campaign to produce the book. The campaign ends Tuesday November 12 at midnight.

She contacted me asking permission to use one of the photos of the Queensboro bridge that I took during my NYC Bridges adventure last summer for the book. What is the connection to NYC? Read below . . .

What is the link to NYC? Sharon explains:

There are three bridges in Portland built by the famous New York bridge engineer Gustav Lindenthal. Lindenthal was the NYC Commissioner of Bridges in the early 1900s. He came to Portland in the mid-1920s to design two bridges across the Willamette River in Portland and finish a third. My husband and I are big fans of his and still keep in touch with his grandson who lives in New Jersey.

It turns out that the Ross Island Bridge designed by Lindenthal looks almost exactly like the Queensboro bridge turned upside down. In Sharon’s book, the photo of the Queensboro bridge sits right next to a drawing of the Ross Island bridge and you can see the similarity.

Erika M and Rosalba under the Queensboro Bridge, with the Roosevelt Island Bridge in the background.

Erika M and Rosalba under the Queensboro Bridge, with the Roosevelt Island Bridge in the background.

My new Oru kayak arrived on Tuesday.  Needless to say, I stopped everything that I was supposed to be doing to unpack and assemble her.


Last night (Wednesday) I took her on her maiden voyage at the Downtown Boathouse. Honestly, at first it was a little strange to think I was paddling around in a big sheet of plastic, but I soon forgot about that and just started having fun. She’s light and fast. I also capsized her on purpose and did an assisted rescue, to get a feel for how she does in more stressful situations.  (Thank you Lewis!) Came home salty, tired and happy.

But, I took a taxi from the boathouse to the subway, because although she is light for a boat, and has a shoulder strap, it turns out 26 pounds is still a lot to carry for a mile! I’m thinking of ways to rig up some sort of wheels for her that can be easily stowed in the hull once I get on the water. Rollerblade wheels? A cheap skateboard?  Oru mentioned they are created a backpack-style harness . . .

Somebody told me last night that someone in the Inwood club has an Oru as well.  If anyone knows that person, or anyone else in NYC that has an Oru, I’d love to connect with them.

I’ll probably take the boat to Sebago Canoe Club on Sunday if anyone wants to see it in person.