Monday, September 22, 2008

NJ Kayak

Bill and Carmen Stage, owners of NJ Kayak, organized a group of eight experienced kayakers for a weekend trip to the Sedge Island Natural Resource Education Center. They paddled out to Sedge late Friday morning and had lunch. They then paddled another six miles with the return trip being a strenuous journey paddling on the eastern edge of the Oyster creek Channel against a strong wind and tide. The following day they paddled past the lighthouse, along High Bar Harbor, and then landed at a beach in Barnegat Light. From here we walked to Viking Village where we had lunch and toured the fishing village and craft shops. The return trip included a stop at Gull Island where we checked out the new sand deposit created by the dredging of the Oyster Creek Channel.

On Sunday the group continued their paddling expeditions. Six people got up before sunrise to paddle together in our twenty two-foot peace canoe. After a circumnavigation of Sedge Island we returned briefly for breakfast and then set out for another paddle to the inlet via the Sea Dog Trail. We discovered that there were some gentle waves breaking in the inlet, so we carried our boats over the dike and spent the next hour kayak surfing. This was an amazing experience for two of the group since they had never paddled in salt-water before- let alone done any surfing. They handled the small waves beautifully!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Rutgers Outing Club

Diversity is the watchword of the dozen Rutgers Students who are from a variety of classes, ages, and majors. Included in the group was Shang Jen, a Rutgers Pharmacy major who had volunteered all summer as Sedge intern. The group arrived in the rain on Friday night, loaded their gear onto the pontoon boat and made their way to the island. Club advisor Rick Lathrop, who paddled his kayak to Sedge into the strong west wind, soon joined them. We were able to watch Rick’s progress through the spotting scope by following a flashing red light he had attached to his hat.

Saturday turned out to be a warmer than usual late summer day. As a result the group was able to participate in a wide variety of activities. Catching fish rewarded several of those who got up before sunrise. Unfortunately we could not keep the summer flounder because it was one inch short and also just after the season closed. The kayak trip to the inlet was easy for these strong paddlers. Many students took advantage of the warm air and water to try some body surfing in the great surf. After returning to Sedge everyone went clamming. Digging over 130 clams rewarded those who stuck with it. It should be noted that they returned many of these for the next group of Sedge Island clammers to find. In the evening the students engaged in a round game of “Electric Clam.”