I finally was able to get on my SUP on the Hudson River for the first time and I am so glad I did not wait for the SEAPaddle event to get my first experience of paddling on the Hudson.
I was uncomfortable getting on the river by myself, so Linda my training partner, and I connected with the folks at Manhattan Kayak Company and together with Carey and Shannon and a group of local paddlers we spent a challenging but awesome 120 minutes paddling from their location on 40th St and the Hudson. At times the water seemed like a Jacuzzi, rough and unpredictable due to the high traffic and the close proximity to the seawall. Initially it was a challenge to keep my balance, stance and heart rate as low as I planned, but i improved and I need to practice in these conditions several more times before the big day three weeks away.
Stand up paddling on the river was a very different experience than any paddling I have done so far. Aside from the awesome NYC backdrop, unlike the open sea or the Long Island Sound, or any of the bays I am used to paddling in, the river around Manhattan is characterized by tremendous amount of (on water) traffic. Large and small vessels go all over the place and SUP is the slowest and smallest vessel which means I need to stay OUT of the way of all other vessels and at the same time prepare for the different waves and wakes created by the traffic and the seawalls.
I am counting the days to next weekend on the Hudson. I am thankful to be able to raise awareness for the importance of exercising as part of the healing process and raise money for cancer research. Similar to how I felt before my ultra marathon a year ago; it is about the journey and this is what motivates me.