Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Blogging is difficult - rowing is harder

Wow, I didn't realize how difficult it is to maintain a blog! I've been rowing on the Oklahoma River since June. There are hundreds of us down there every week rowing at the Chesapeake Boathouse, now home of the US Olympic Rowing and Canoeing Training Center. We row in boats that are from 20-60 feet long and about 2 feet wide known as rowing or sculling shells. A Cape Codder might look on one of these boats as quite useless but the boats do have a pedigree. Wherries have been in use since the 1500s as a means to carry people on the rivers.

The 1535 Coverdale Bible translates a portion of Ezekial as "All whirry men, and all maryners upon the see…" so I am proud to be counted as a whirry man.

The Thames Wherry of 1555 was "22½ feet long and 4½ wide 'amidships' and could carry up to five passengers."

These days our boats carry only rowers - anywhere from 1 to 8 people pulling on sculls or oars.


"During the eighteenth century rowing competitions for watermen became established on the Thames, and the prize was often a new wherry. The Sporting Magazine describes an event on 6 August 1795 as 'the contest for the annual wherry given by the Proprietors of Vauxhall by six pairs of oars in three heats'."

I've been keeping track of my progress and so far have rowed 280,000 meters (We like to count everything in meters because it looks more magnificent than just saying 175 miles).

I was in two races last Sunday, the first a mixed (men and women) quad (4x) in which we placed 6th and the second in a mixed 8+ where we took the Bronze medal. The Boot of the Oklahoma River Regatta saw teams from all over the country numbering more than 200 boats and 1300 athletes. This past week I have been sidelined with a sore wrist (some tendon is complaining) probably because I was not pulling the oar properly. So that gives me a minute to blog.

I saw a sign recently that said "Rowing never gets easier, you just go faster!" That's me. I am having withdrawals from not being out on the river.