A week ago Caurie Putnam, a reporter from the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (D&C) stumbled across nakedkayaker.com as she was researching kayaking for an article called "Do It: Paddle sports taking hold." The Do It series encourages people to try new "obscure" sports [no offense taken :)].We spoke briefly about beginner-friendly kayaking spots and why kayaking is so wonderful, and she kindly linked my blog. She also wrote about BayCreek and paddling opportunities on the Erie Canal, Genesee River, and others. You can read the full article here, or see the excerpt by clicking "Read More" below.
I must admit, reading through past posts stirred up a mean bout of nostalgia and longing for the upstate NY kayaking environment: wide open freshwater lakes that feel just as vast as San Francisco Bay (if not more - SF Bay can feel somewhat confining when you're surrounded by boats and traffic and city noises), silent 6am paddles when the thin layer of fog still hovers and the boat leaves a perfect V-shaped track behind you in the glassy water, and the rolling rainbow hills that surround all the lakes in the fall.
Anyways, I've just been reflecting on the beauty of upstate NY kayaking.
Nena, 24, was one of the first campers to go through BayCreek’s camp. She was eight and fell in love with kayaking immediately. “I like being on the water,” Nena, a Penfield native, said in an interview from her current home in San Francisco, Calif. “It’s like being on top of a mountain, but you’re looking out instead of down. ”
When Nena aged-out of the camp, she was still too young to be an instructor, so she volunteered to wash boats at BayCreek just to be around the kayaking scene.
She later became a counselor and then an instructor of a kayaking class at Cornell University, where she attended college. Currently, she is a coastal engineer and sea kayaks in the San Francisco Bay and Santa Barbara area.
Before moving to California Nena achieved a goal of kayaking in each of the eleven Finger Lakes — her favorites were Canadice and Cayuga. “It was really fun because each of the lakes is really different,” Vandebroek said. “Some have wetlands and secret waterfalls. Each lake has its own history and paddling experience.”
Nena meticulously and beautifully chronicled each of her Finger Lakes kayaking explorations in a kayaking blog she still maintains called http://www.nakedkayaker.com/ “I’m really glad I grew up in Rochester,” Nena said. “It was such a great place to learn how to paddle.”
- Caurie Putnam, Democrat & Chronicle