Wednesday, 12 November 2014

News from British Columbia

Harold Aune of Whitehall Rowing and Sail in Canada has sent over his latest newsletter which includes this picture of Adam Kreek and Andrea Guyon rowing into the sunrise as they cross the Juan de Fuca Strait from Victoria to Port Angeles. To see the sunrise, watch the video at: Also see the waves, monster ships, and fog. Wisely, the expedition was abandoned with just 7 miles to go.

Harold also included this, which just about encapsulates my attitude to the dreaded ergo:

"8 Ways that ‘Less’ is ‘More’ With Outdoor Adventure Rowing

Getting outside on the ocean river or lake in an ‘all water’ rowing boat equipped with sliding seat rowing gear and lightweight carbon fiber sculling oars can change your life for the better in small ways that are very, very big.

1. Less Boredom – More adventure!
Less staring at the same four walls on the same rowing machine, doing the same motions, in the same room temperature. With outdoor rowing it’s always changing, views, wind, waves. It’s so much more of an adventure!

2. Less Stress - More peaceful, happy feelings!
Less tense muscles and mind load. Rhythmic breathing produced by rowing greatly reduces mental stress.

3. Less Health Issues - More ease of movement and fitness!
Less aching joints, weak muscles, weight gain, depression, etc.

4. Less Stale Air - More fresh, crisp, oxygen-rich air!
No odors produced by sweaty gym rats or recycled indoor air in the gym.

5. Less Pollution - More clean air to breathe. More nature sounds!
Less stinky exhaust gasses, less noise, no fossil fuel consumption. Leaves no oily footprint behind.

6. Less Noise - More sounds of nature. More serenity!
No roar from an engine and no yelling over it to be heard. Less disturbed and frightened wildlife. Noise travels a greater distance on the water.

7. Less Chronic Pain - More fun moving!
Less need for medication for arthritis, less stiffness, faster healing of damaged joints. Rowing is a great way to warm up the joints.

8. Less Impact On Your Body - More time feeling great!
Less need for surgeries due to impact on connective tissues of knees or hips causing joint damage as with jogging, etc. Rowing offers: a symmetric balanced loading of 90% of the body’s muscles in a smooth fluid motion.

Rowing is one of the best health and fitness activities in existence. It’s a total body workout that is gentle and effective. An ‘all water’ rowing or sculling boat is safe and can easily handle wind and waves and this means you can row all year long."

The only thing wrong with this list is that "less health issues" should be 'fewer health issues.' (Sorry, once a proofreader, always a profruder).

Whitehall Rowing's latest product is interesting too - a fixed seat, drop-in rowing unit for a stand-up paddle dory:

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Brewery Row (cont) (eventually)

Sorry about the delay in continuing the saga of the Row to the Brewery.
The approach to Southampton took us past several rather large cruise ships. Rachel looks calm and collected because she is facing the other way.
There is no apparent entrance to Town Quay - you have to thread your way between several pontoons designed to keep the wash of the Isle of Wight ferries out. They have no effect whatever.
The Platform Tavern and Dancing Man Brewery are decorated with the reticence and understated good taste for which Southampton is famed.
A pint of Dancing Man's Pilgrims Pale Ale is piquant and refreshing. Two pints are even more refreshing. Here we are getting totally refreshed.
Recovering the boat. Note the blocked exit to the marina.
Off we go. The sudden drop is no danger at all - it was the bloody post that was the problem. There was a bit of a breeze and the wake of the high speed catamarans nearly pushed us on it. They should take it away. Bloody post.
(Thanks to Ron Williams for the pictures with me in them).

Saturday, 1 November 2014

All Saint's Day

A day well spent on the boat. The paint and varnish are now removed from the transom and one side. Tomorrow will see it all gone, I hope.
There was just time to take Kittiwake out for an hour between the tide coming in and the sun going down. It was blowing Force 4 from the southwest, so it seemed a good idea to slog SW to get a bit of a push on the way home. I rowed for three quarters of an hour upwind, where I took a picture of the sunset. Portsmouth's Spinnaker Tower is just visible against the sun.
A few minutes later the sun had faded enough to change the colours of the sky completely.
With wind+tide behind, it took just 20 minutes to get back. And so to pub.


It was the warmest Hallowe'en in recorded history. Time was limited with a late tide (half past four) and the nights drawing in (sunset twenty to five). I was going to pop out on my own in Kittiwake but a little posse arrived as the tide filled the rithe to the mill.
Anne Plater turned up with her son Michael, a former rower of eights, so he went out with Victoria in her coastal pair and Anne coxed Mike and me in a Teifi.
It was the last day in October and we were in T shirts.
As we returned Mike got this shot of the coastal with Hayling bridge behind.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Ben Ainslie on Southampton Water

To Southampton betimes, to a public house recommended by a person I met in the queue for saveloys at the Great River Race who informed me that the best home brewed ale in the city is to be found at the Platform Tavern in the ancient walls of that place, hard by the Dancing Man brewery.
We launched our boat, the Solent galley Langstone Lady, at Warsash and rowed to Town Quay, conveniently about 100 yards from the pub.
As we returned down Southampton Water, we spotted Sir Ben Ainslie hammering up the channel in his foiling America's Cup challenger.
I took this snap with my mobile phone, a Nokia Lumia 930. The resolution really is incredible - the view as we saw it from the boat was more like this:

Friday, 17 October 2014

Getting in early

Mike Gilbert, fixed seat rower, owner of gigs, Claydon champ and Salter skiff fan, is in Boston from whence he sent this picture of himself rowing the Charles River.
He is not planning to go out tomorrow when the river will look more like this:
This is last year's Head of the Charles, the biggest two-day regatta in the world with more than ten thousand rowers and nearly half a million spectators. It looks very civilised actually. I would have expected complete carnage especially as it is organised by no fewer than thirty committees.
Mike's partner Victoria will, however, be competing. Good luck!

Friday, 10 October 2014

Time and Tide

This week has seen the highest tides of the year. Max (the Bursledon Blogger) was at Fowey down in the West Country and spotted this.
Back home, Langstone Cutters may have to check the bearings on the boat trailer soon:
Mike Gilbert took this photo from his garden, which means, I hope, that the very expensive tide-repelling wall he has just had built worked as promised. If not, he must have been wearing waders.