Thursday, 24 January 2008

I went rowing…

…with the boat stripped of all superfluous material. No masts, sails, centreboard or rudder, no picnic, no thermos. Just the hull and the oars. OB is a joy like this, light and manoeuvrable on her trolley, on the beach and in the water.

Inevitably, on the flat calm sea, I tried to better the top rowing speed and pulled hard on the oars. But when I came to look at the GPS it had run out of batteries. This was a godsend, I could have a gentle, relaxed row for once—I’ve had enough of this competing with myself.

I rowed to El Roc, a holiday town about 2 miles east, deserted at this time of year. From the sea it looks quite pretty but unfortunately a new marina is being built beside it, which not only ruins the view but has also interfered with the natural ebb and flow of the currents in such a way that sand eroded from the beach in storms is no longer being replaced by the daily action of the waves.

A favourable breeze interrupted my negative musings on humankind’s blunderings and I turned for home. Rowing with the wind I seemed to make a very healthy speed indeed but the GPS was mute. When I eventually inserted new batteries it revealed that on my earlier sprint I had hit a top speed of 5.1 knots.

Onawind Blue on the beach after an afternoon’s rowing.

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