We (Ben, Rob, Anna, and I) met at the southern tip of Seneca Lake and launched from Lakeside Park in Watkins Glen around 7:30AM. This means my alarm was set for 5:30AM… it was painful. We decided (by “we” I mean Anna, because she is the official decision maker) that since the lake was glassy-calm we would first paddle out in the open and think about exploring the inlet later. So off we went!
Update: this was a result of the "surface seiche" of the lake, which is a small oscillation in water level. It's a bit like a tide, but not controlled by the moon. It's caused by wind, which pushes water up against one end of the lake. When the wind stops, the water lowers and moves to the other end of the lake. Since the Finger Lakes are so long, there is a lot of "fetch" (distance that wind blows over) to allow a seiche to develop. On the longest lakes, like Cayuga and Seneca, the surface seiche has a period of ~1 hour.
PS: I paddled the entire way with my Greenland paddle! Woohoo!
Distance: 15 miles