Every Thursday evening from 5:30pm – 6:45pm and Saturday from 10:00am – 3:00pm, Brooklyn Bridge Park has free kayaking sessions and I finally tried got to try them out! I kayaked once before while in Thailand and it really was so much fun, and being able to experience it again closer to home (and did I mention FREE?) is a super bonus.
We arrived about 30 minutes early, as the website advised, and the line was already fairly long. Nevertheless, that’s to be expected with free events in the city and decided we’d still chance it because we really, really wanted to get out there and have some fun.
Thankfully, it moved pretty quickly, although there was initially some confusion about where single riders and double riders should stand, or whether there were any families with children because they got to jump the line and ride before us -__-, so, in all, we ended up waiting for about an hour and half, which didn’t feel like that at all.
We walked towards the kayaks and I realized that the bag I was wearing would not fit on that tiny, little thing. I ended up leaving it on the dock with a bunch of other bags and shoes that my fellow kayakers left behind, and my faith in humanity (especially New Yorkers) has temporarily been restored because my bag was still there when I got back (seriously!) Earlier, I made fun of my best friend’s tiny water protective pouch that she wore in place of an actual bag, but I was soon wishing for one of my own. After we finished, I realized that there were rental lockers nearby, so if you do decide to kayak, I advise bringing a tiny bag or renting a locker to protect your things.
Despite this tiny hiccup, however, we were soon geared in our yellow life jackets and were off!
The views are absolutely astounding! From the Manhattan skyline to the Brooklyn Bridge to the Statue of Liberty, I got to see it all from a vantage point I’d never experienced before.
The water were a bit choppy, but we were assured out kayak wouldn’t capsize, so the waves just added to the fun! Each group is only allowed 20 minutes of kayaking (which you time yourself, so be fair), but that was enough to get a few good laps around the water and to take in all of the views. Besides, my butt was getting really wet, so I’d also advise you to wear light clothing that can dry quickly.
We were kayaking on one of the busiest waterways in New York, but it was surprisingly a peaceful experience. Once you get past the initial fear of having this water accidentally splash into your mouth, thus afflicting you with some unknown disease, you can relax enough to have a really great time.
I’ve crossed over the East River on the Brooklyn Bridge more times than I can count, but this was a whole new experience that I can’t wait to try again! I would definitely recommend trying it out if it’s something you’ve been waiting to do.
And what better way to end the night than with a little Wafels & Dinges? Yum yum!