New York 2

For those who did not follow through with the link, this is the Environment TV link. What I said has been cut drastically so it is not quite correct but sort of OK

The van and the Ford have been sold, not for the price we wanted but it is to a couple with four young kids, so if I have to lose a heap of dough it is best to the right people. We keep it until 11th July, three days before getting on the ship to England. The shipping terminal is in a rough industrial area in Brooklyn and the challenge is to find somewhere nearby to store the kayak and wheel it to the ship the day of departure.

To my surprise I like New York. The life is amazing. Central Park is terrific. The energy of the place bubbles over everywhere with rap dancers in the subway, roller skate dancing on the road in central park, beautiful singing in a tunnel and everyone is helpful and friendly.

Of course it is a big city so it’s not for me. The traffic is dreadful and funny at the same time. There seems to be no restraint. If it is possible, drive forwards. Inevitably the lights change and cars, buses and trucks are stuck across the intersection and the grid is locked. Dickheads start blowing their horns, pedestrians wander around the cars amidst the cacophony but only some get upset. “HEY DICKHEAD” is shouted frequently at the horn blowers, that’s why I know what they are. Sometimes NYPD try to control the mayhem with two cops on an intersection, which is really just a coronary inducing experience for the poor guys.

The museums are a must see and I guess ground zero is as well. It is hard to imagine the incredulity of a bustling city seething with humanity being confronted with the jets and then the towers crashing down. A new skyline dominating building has just opened, and two massive square holes with water flowing into the centre mark the site of the old twin towers. Coming into the area, before noticing these, we came across a construction site. I knew I was there, at the spot. My heart tightened, my whole body tensed with dread. I took no pictures, just wanting to pay my respects and get out of the place. No way will I go back.

All the way up the coast the military presence was obvious. Jets roared, aerials dotted the shore, big bore guns fired. The power of the tiger could be felt everywhere. Poke it in the eye and expect a rational response? Of course it lashed out. It was angry and maybe it didn’t care what it hit or what was sacrificed.

The military cost must inevitably be borne somewhere though. Many bridges I paddled under were rusty or had concrete spalling. Many roads are potholed. Many buildings are abandoned. Evidence of decay abounds even if there are other shiny ostentatious effigies for the haves. Many in the USA have not.

Sitting still biding time until the ship goes is not fun. I miss Australia. I miss my family. I miss home.

This email from Harriet who organised a group meeting in Central Park helps a lot and boosts me along.

Thanks Steve,       So glad you could be our reason to get together! Your journey is so inspiring. One of my “climate heroes” is a Canadian artist and climate activist, Franke James. She likes to say we must “do the hardest thing first” if we are going to work to solve this .Thanks for leading way. Wishing you much success, good adventures and pa positive spirit. We must keep going and we must win. We have no other choice.

With much respect and admiration.


So, next post will be in a few weeks from the UK. Logistics start again. Arriving in Southampton with a 6m kayak, Klaas and Lynne to despatch at Heathrow that night, permits to get, vehicle to buy and fit out, what fun – not.

As Harriet says:   We must keep going. We must win. We have no other choice.

NOTE: There are regular Facebook posts, some with videos, until I catch the boat mid-July. If you don’t have Facebook, sorry.