Friday, June 05, 2015

Kayaking to The Graveyard of Ships - Staten Island NY

Last summer Rob and I went with a group of NJ kayakers to the "Graveyard of Ships" on the Arthur Kill in Staten Island. We launched from the Woodbridge NJ Public Dock and paddled across the shipping lane and then headed north to the Staten Island location. The "Graveyard" is a salvage yard for old ships. At one time not so long ago there were hundreds of old rusting hulks there. They have been working hard to clean it up.  After Super Storm Sandy there are not many left there. 

This is one of the larger remains that still stands tall in the water. There is much debris under the water and that makes for a somewhat dangerous situation. You have to be very careful navigating this area. Glass boats are not a good idea here, plastic boats are much better.

After exploring some of the wrecks we paddled over to the now closed Arthur Kill Landfill which no longer stinks...thank goodness...for a lunch/snack break. I still wouldn't swim here.

After the break we paddled back across to the NJ side and back toward the Woodbridge Dock.

This is an old Staten Island Ferry wreck that is sitting on the Jersey side. Not sure why it is there. The Perth Amboy fire boat was there. 

It turned out they like us were just there checking it out. There is what appears to be an Osprey nest up in the "crows nest" on the Ferry.

Some of the braver, or crazier of us went onto the old rusted hulk to get a better look. Most of us were perfectly happy just to paddle around her and explore from a safe distance.

That's my oldest son Rob checking it out from the water.

One last look before we head back to the dock. It was a wonderful day but I am not sure if I will do it again. The water is not that clean here although it is much better than it used to be. I wouldn't want to capsize here!

This trip is not for the feint of heart. It's a large tidal river and conditions can be rough although that day could not have been nicer. This is also a very busy shipping lane with huge tankers that navigate up and down the river. Those ships cast huge wakes and can easily capsize an inexperienced kayaker so it is important to have reliable skills and it is wise to go with a large group so you are more visible. You must be able to keep up with the group as well so longer faster boats are a good idea here. This was a very quiet weekend with very little traffic on the river. We only dealt with the wake of a large tug that day. You also have to watch where you paddle so as not to paddle into restricted areas. There are many petroleum product tank farms here which are very restricted for obvious reasons so you must keep your distance.

All the above images were shot with my iPhone 5s with various settings so I am not posting the EXIF data. I cannot change those settings anyway so they are whatever the phone chose.