Kayaking To Work

February 15, 2009 at 1:19 am Leave a comment

Faced with fare hikes and service cuts in mass transit, increasing bridge tolls, and expensive gas, commuters crossing the Hudson River alone spend hundreds of millions of dollars.

Some commuters, however, are coming up with cheaper, more inventive ways to get to work. Such is the case for Sean Patch, who suits up for his morning commute to work…by kayak.

“When I first started doing it, they would come out on the decks and wave their arms and be like, ‘What are you doing out here?'” Patch tells CBS 2.

Well, he’s saving money. When the Weehawken ferry upped its prices, Patch ran the numbers. He’s a math teacher, after all.

Supplying his own paddle power saves $15.50 a day. Since July, that’s $1700 dollars.

And by the end of the school year the savings will be $4,175.

Patch says he hopes to keep paddling to work even in the dead of winter. And if this is what you call home, maybe kayaking isn’t such a stretch. Turns out, Patch’s way is efficient. We timed his commute from the air. From bank to bank it took nine minutes.

The ferry takes seven.

But it’s not always smooth sailing.

“It’s tough for a lot of these boats to see me because I’m low on the water,” he says. “There were times when a wave would come and it would prevent me from seeing the skyline of New York. So that was scary.”

After Patch locks up his boat, he rides a bike the rest of the way.

Fellow teachers say they’re humbled.

“I walk to the train in the morning, a nice mile walk. But my friend here, he goes on an entirely higher level,” says teacher David Greenbaum.

“I think a lot of people are looking to use alternate forms of transportation now that the econmy is bad,” adds teacher Maura Cisney.

Patch says people need to stay positive.

“In these tough economic times, look, we can resort to despair and frustration. But keep your eyes open, there may be opportunities at your front door,” he says.

Especially if your front door opens on the Hudson River.

Patch is also a licensed captain. He says there are serious risks out there and anyone thinking about paddling across the Hudson should get proper training first.



Entry filed under: Get Wet, Manhattan, Natural Waterfront.

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