Row row row your boat, (vigi) gently round the lake ...
Tiny Town Satellite of Sheldrake Point, Circa Sept 14, 2013, USA – More than 100 people paddled their way along Cayuya Lake, in the Second Annual Can You Canoe? event.
Kayakers and Canoeists alike took to the waters in record numbers. Some made the entire 35 nautical mile circuit to and fro. Some dipped their oars at Taughannock Park and others launched from Sheldrake Point; it was not necessarily a contest. Many participants slipped into the dark of chilly morn, braving the bracing air and quaking wakes.
The event, organized by members of the Cayuga Lake Watershed Network, is intended to get folks out on the lake and to appreciate it up close and personally. Young people and families were encouraged to join in the fun, and the oldest paddler on the waters was a sporting 86-year old man.
A fee of $35 was charged and that covered insurance for each participant. Goodies also included a tee shirt, dinner by Kendra's Catering, entertainment and a one-year membership in the Cayuga Lake Watershed Network.
The watershed group represents three counties with lake shoreline: Cayuga, Seneca and Tompkins, and four more counties upland of the lake: Cortland Ontario, Schuyler and Tioga.
The oldest paddler chose not to be named. But a friend said this about the Auslander: "I train with him regularly and we cover 10 miles on a local river near Harrisburg Pennsylvania. He canoed around Manhattan earlier this year; he's just amazing."
Other canoers also demonstrated their pluck, pull, drive and general paddlocity: "My wife was the inspiration for us taking this on this challenge," said Jay Shapiro, speaking of his mate, Louise Shapiro. "She is the power behind our strong finish."
Not everyone rowed the entire course; that wasn't the point.
But Tim Willsallen rowed the whole way around and was among the first to dock and savor the finish. An experienced racer, he said he was surprised by the challenge.
"I entered for the pleasure of being in a non-competitive event," said Willsallen. "It was not my aim to be first, but my boat is faster than most kayaks, especially when the wind was at my back."
Participants portaged from distant points, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Massachusetts. They did it to foam the waters and raise funds for ... well, we'll tell you when we find out.
Cass Park was the ultimate destination. Paddlers were greeted with a festive blend of food and music provided by the ever-loving local group, the Purple Valley Band.
Sponsors included: The Tompkins County Tourism Board, Tompkins County Trust Company, two local kayak, canoe and Puddledockers and Paddle-N-More, local water sport retailers. Cayuga Medical Center through a life saver in for good measure, marking that organizations maiden voyage in support of the new event.
Various communities too, lent their support for the paddlers, including the Romulus and Aurora fire departments, the Coast Guard Auxiliary, Senece and Tompkins County Sheriff's departments area residents from the South to the North ends of the lake. Student volunteers from Cornell’s Biology Department also helped with managing rest stops and launching.
- Compiled by Anon with help from event organizers