The Brooklyn waterfront isn’t always the first borough that comes to mind when one thinks of paddling in New York City. Kayaking and canoeing seem disproportionately concentrated in Manhattan aside from a few well-known outer-borough exceptions like the “Paddle the Bronx River” event. Instead, Brooklyn’s most polluted post-industrial waterways like Newtown Creek or the recently ‘awarded’ superfund site around the Gowanus canal usually grab all the headlines. The free kayaking offered by Brooklyn Bridge Park last year aimed to change that perception by reconnecting the borough to its 30-mile waterfront. Overshadowed has been the long-time efforts of the Sebago Canoe Club, a 78-year-old boating club in Canarsie, Brooklyn. Tucked away on a quiet piece of shoreline along the Paerdegat Basin (pronounced Pa-da-gat), on first glance the volunteer run 501c(3) nonprofit has the weathered-look of a long closed down container yard. Faded signs, overgrown grass and a chain-locked main gate comprise the view from the street, with freight containers and a long driveway about all that can be seen from outside.
Passing under the Belt Parkway into Jamaica Bay