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It was quite and oar-deal.
Brooklynites took to the water on May 26 to celebrate Family Day at the Canarsie Pier. Children and parents huddled in canoes to paddle around Jamaica Bay under the hot sun, led by boat captains from the nonprofit group the Wilderness Inquiry, which travels across the country to promote outdoor activities, according to a rep for the organization.
“It’s really formed on the idea of traveling to people and getting them out on their waterways, and showing them a new activity,” said Sam Gustafson. More than 200 people turned out to the pier for the Memorial Day weekend celebration, according to Gustafson. “The people had a really great time,” he said. “For a lot of them, it was their first time on the water.”
Gustafson and six other Wilderness Inquiry members began their cross-country tour in March, taking riders from across the United States out on the water in their specially-made Voyageur Canoes.
“The canoes fit about 10 people, whereas a normal canoe can only fit two or three people,” said Gustafson. “And they’re heavy, they weigh about 200 to 300 pounds, so it’s important that everyone help paddle.”
Gustafson said he hoped their tour would encourage people to go outside and enjoy nature.
“We have an unspoken mission, which is ‘anyone, anywhere, and anytime.,” he said.