The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

well marked

with 3 comments

Nana nana nana, Batboat!

– photo by Mitch Waxman

So, Sunday last, my pals at Newtown Creek Alliance and NYC Audubon set up an event which would see a group of three dozen Brooklyn bat enthusiasts climb into canoes at dusk and ply the lugubrious waters of the Newtown Creek in search of urban bats. How, I ask, could a humble narrator not want to come along?

Bat Boat!

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I was in one the two gigantic canoes maintained by the North Brooklyn Boat Club for such endeavors, and since I make great ballast, was sitting up front in the bow of the thing. All told, we had seven canoes out on the water.

Bat Boat!

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The Audubon people were all geared up with electronic bat detectors (ultrasonic microphone doohickeys) and other frammistats. Bat experts were on hand to answer questions, and copies of “Bat International” magazines offered.

Bat Boat!

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Now, I know what you’re thinking here, but at the 520 Kingsland Avenue Green Roof nearby the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge, they’ve got bat detecting equipment installed and have – in fact – detected bats.

Bat Boat!

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A humble narrator was onboard mainly for the opportunity to shoot some shots from the water at night. Our original plan was to head into Dutch Kills and bat hunt there, but an unusually high tide precluded that option so we headed down the main channel for a couple of miles. No need to go to the gym on Monday for the bat crowd, as rowing is great cardio.

Bat Boat!

– photo by Mitch Waxman

In the end we didn’t see or ultrasonically detect any bats, for which the bat experts offered several reasons. It’s my belief that, just like everybody else in NYC during the last week of August, the bats were probably on vacation and taking advantage of the coming Labor Day weekend to extend their time off.

Bat Boat!

Tours and Events

Canal to Coast: Reuniting the Waters Boat Tour. Only $5!
Thurs, August 30, 2018, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM with Waterfront Alliance

Learn about the origins of Brooklyn’s Erie Basin as the Erie Canal’s ultimate destination, and its current role as a vital resource for maritime industry on this guided tour of Red Hook’s Erie Basin and the Brooklyn working waterfront, departing from and returning to New York Water Taxi’s Red Hook Dock. Tickets here.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

August 29, 2018 at 11:00 am

3 Responses

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  1. In a search for bats one can readily understand why our Humble Narrator was invited along on this expedition as our Humble Narrator is widely known to have bats in his belfry. Or so the local wags would have us believe.
    I prefer the term ‘alternative definition of sanity’ and make no judgments therein.

    I’ve seen bats near where I live usually before dawn heading back in the general direction of Bayside/Acadia cemetery where I suspect they live.

    And I can assure you that these specimens did not originate from my belfry as the nameless, blasphemous, eldritch horrors already in residence would surely have devoured them all.

    Don Cavaioli


    August 29, 2018 at 12:57 pm

  2. Is it healthy, wise, to be paddling about in those fetid waters?

    georgetheatheist . . . safety first

    August 29, 2018 at 2:30 pm

    • ultimately, it depends on when the last time it rained was. You’re not coming into contact with the sediments, presuming you don’t fall in and all the way to the bottom. The rain factor relates to the combined sewer sitch. I’m planning a night time photographer’s trip for October with HarborLab (the LIC boat peeps) on Dutch Kills if you’d want to come. Bring bright lenses.

      Mitch Waxman

      August 29, 2018 at 2:33 pm

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