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Rowing the Bay

Have you ever plucked eel grass off a boat's rudder? Walked around with a 200 lb. boat on your shoulder? Swept the bay? Or any body of water for that matter? Driven 6 hours to row in a race that lasts (hopefully) less than 4 minutes? If, so isn't it fun? If not, here's a bit about rowing, for fun and profit.

Patrick

Rowing the Bay

Saturday, 25 February 2012 13:57

aerial photo, low tide on humboldt bay, tiny rower rowing

There is a man named Patrick
He isn’t, yet, geriatric

Most of the time he stays afloat
Which isn't easy in a long skinny boat

If only he knew a hat trick
that rhymes well with Patrick

   

A Typical Day on the Bay

Rowing the Bay - On the Water

Friday, 23 September 2011 09:58

humboidt bay rowing association women's 8+ rowing on humboldt bay

Technically speaking, it's been a while since I've actually rowed the bay. In the last couple of years, when I'm hanging out with rowers, it's been in more of a yelling on the bay type of way, as their coxswain.

It's not that I'm into yelling, mind you, and there are times when I do talk very, very, quietly, but some days the cox-box doesn't work and the coxswain must yell to be heard by bow seat (sitting 40 feet away) who must row NOW to avoid colliding with the various obstacles one finds on the bay: other rowing shells, fishing boats, really big boats, coach's launch, piers, docks, islands of eel grass, teenage pelicans, fishing lines, swimmers, bridges, channel markers, land (depending on the tide), logs, and even the occasional automobile.

All this dodging obstacles, not rowing and yelling on the bay is exhausting. Sometimes it’s nice just to ride along in the coach’s launch, take in the scenery, snap a few photos, and maybe heckle a rower or two.

Here's what a typical day on the bay looks like...and for the curious, the rowers rowing with two oars (x) are scullers, the rowers rowing with 1 oar (+) are sweep rowers.

humboidt bay rowing association single sculler rowing on humboldt bay

1x:  This is Ron rowing "a single" looking where he's been, not so much where he's going. Seems kind of hazardous since Ron's single doesn't have room for a coxswain.

pelican flirting on humboldt bay

Teenage Pelican: Smiling coquettishly at the girls as they row on by. Ron, too, probably. Pelicans are shameless.

humboidt bay rowing association women's 8+ rowing on humboldt bay

8+: Shawn, the coxswain, plus 8 tiny rowers rowing. I'd tell you who they are, but I can't see who is who from here.

pelican flying above humboldt bay

Pelican #2

another pelican flying on humboldt bay

Pelican #3

humboidt bay rowing association women's 4+ practicing on humboldt bay

4+: Mary Ann, the coxswain, 2 experienced rowers, 2 brand new rowers, and 1 big boat. I'm pretty sure Mary Ann sees it.

close up view of humboidt bay rowing association women's 4+ practicing on humboldt bay

4+: Same as above, but closer. Sue - stroke (closest to Mary Ann, the coxswain), Peggy - 3 seat, Evelyn - 2 seat, Sharon - bow seat. See that little ball at the end of the boat? That's a bow-ball. Notice that Mary Ann is wearing a life jacket. Notice the rowers are not. If you row, don't let go of your oar(s). It's your flotation device. Rowers don't need no stinkin' life jackets!

pelican flying at camera on humboldt bay

Pelican #4

humboidt bay rowing association women's 2x rowing on humboldt bay

2x: Erica and Lee, rowing the double. Nice hands, Erica!

pelican landing on humboldt bay

Pelican 4, 5 (coming in for a landing), 6, 7, and 8.

humboidt bay rowing association single sculler rowing on humboldt bay

1x: Laura, no coxswain for her, either, but plenty of pelicans!

8 pelicans together on humboldt bay

Pelicans 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11.

humboidt bay rowing association single sculler rowing on humboldt bay

1x: Kate, with plenty of smiles for you, cause she's happily rowing the bay!

   

Boat Buying 101

Rowing the Bay - Off the Water

Friday, 01 July 2011 01:00

So you wanna buy a racing shell for your masters rowing club? Here's a little advice. If your coxswains don't normally come in the 5'1", 102 lb. variety, you might want to get a measurement on the coxswain's seat of that 8+ you're about to buy.
However, if the boat is a done deal, or perhaps your coxswain just ate half a coconut cake (like that ever happens!), this inspirational video is for you!

 

(Maru lives in Japan, but you can find more of his videos at I am Maru.)

   

Above the Bay

Rowing the Bay - On the Water

Thursday, 05 May 2011 01:00

Dave (aka: my husband, coach Dave, antler man, and the crazy guy with the little yellow plane) was up in said little yellow plane recently, and spotted the Crewtonicus humboldtical in the bay.

"...They are here all year long and are an inspiration to all. Normally 8-armed but one had just 7 today. And the youngster still growing who just had 2**.  Probably dumb boys since they're so slow to mature."
(**
Technically speaking, this boat has 4 arms, if what we are calling arms equates to oars.)

In this photo there are 3 different kinds of boats:

  • The 4-armed boat is called a double (2x) --- two rowers rowing with two sculling oars each.
  • The 8-armed boat is an eight (8+) --- 8 rowers rowing with one sweep oar each.
  • The 7-armed boat is also an eight (8+) --- minus one rower who stayed home in bed.
  • The boat that appears to be motor-powered is. It's driven by the coach and is called "the coach's launch."

The rowers rowing with two oars are scullers. The rowers rowing with 1 oar are sweep rowers.

In the (8+) if you were to count (and this was a much bigger picture), you might notice there is a 9th person conspicuously sitting in the boat with NO oars, while wearing a mouthpiece, a life jacket, and lots of layers of clothing. Not to worry. This is the coxswain (cox'n). Since the boats are about 65 feet long and the rowers are sitting backwards, the cox'n keeps the crew safe by skillfully steering to avoid floating and stationary objects....like other boats, pilings, large masses of floating eel grass, the dock, the coach's launch, and shore. There's a lot more to being a cox'n than just steering the boat. (Stay tuned.)

Oh, and the (2x) doesn't have a cox'n....just to make things interesting.


Dave also snapped this photo of the "seasonal Greywhaleicus blubberosa and baby heading up to the Arctic for the summer."

It used to worry me to see him hanging out of his plane snapping photos, but I figure he's a lot safer doing that than we are down here playing dodge ball with the people who text and drive.

   

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