I joined Rich Gagliardi and his friend Dan for my first real taste of winter paddling. I’ve paddled into late fall several times with air temps hovering below 40°F and have even started a morning or two with snow flurries swirling, but I’ve never been out in temps below freezing or when the water was this cold (35°). We launched at Cold Spring with the air temp at 30° and 10-12 knots winds and headed north to Pollopel Island, home to the Bannerman Island Arsenal ruins, in the shadows of Storm King Mountain. After exploring the island a bit and a quick bite to eat while trying to stay warm, we crossed the channel toward Plum Point and turned south along the western shore toward West Point. Despite the forecast for winds to build during the course of the day, the weather held and by afternoon the sun broke through for a magnificent winter afternoon.