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Simon’s Caterer

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MASS MoCA Director Joe Thompson also spent some time on the Hudson River with Simon Starling.  Here he details his role in the creation of the second phase of Strip Canoe.

My job was logistics support on Friday, Day 2, from Hudson to Kingston: actually, my job was to provide lunch.¬† I had the brilliant idea of using a high tech rotomolded sit-on-top 17′ Hobie cat, which boasts outriggers and a 17′ self-furling mainsail and would allow me to run 2009 circles around those canoeists, caught up in 1909.

But it didn’t work out that way.

No wind.  Not a breath.  The Hudson was like glass for most of the 25-mile trip.  Which meant I worked my tail off trying to keep up with the old technology, and even then failed.  Simon and Dante were polite and kept their boats in eyesight, or maybe this was  because I had the food.

We had a great time: hawks, eagles, herons, and lots of fish hitting at the surface.  The bridges from below are magnificent: Rip Van Winkle, in particular, is a structural marvel.  We noticed that 9/11 angst has infiltrated the river in the form of signage threatening 5 years imprisonment or a $50,000 fine for loitering under the bridges.  Strangely, the closer you get to NYC, the cleaner the river seemed.

This was the only part of the trip that I participated in, but there was one lesson I’ll never forget: on the river that flows both ways, it’s all about the tide.¬† With the draining tide, we made our first 22 miles in about 4.5 hours, and were still pretty fresh.¬† We lost the ebbing tide during lunch, however, and the horrible flooding tide slowed our rate to 2 miles over the next 2 hours, and we weren’t loafing.¬† I bailed at that point, on the north side of Kingston, and the canoeists carried on for another mile or two to complete the Hudson-Kingston reach.

Posted July 31, 2009 by MASS MoCA
Filed under BLOG, Exhibitions, Simon Starling, Work-in-progress
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