Despite inauspicious beginnings with the local rowing team I’ve continued, training when ever time is available. I even participated in a couple of races over the summer and just about avoided spewing my guts into the bilges.
Our destination tonight, announced by Pegleg the cox, is the local brothel.
Away from the shore the stars are brighter and the cold is biting but Pegleg drives us hard with series of 10, 15, 20 long, strong strokes. Our only navigation light is Pegleg’s head torch. We all move as one, powering the boat through the oily waters. We reach our destination and turn. The distant pulsing pink nubile silhouettes and the green lights atop the bawdy house ladder up and down like, ahem, well, like a whore’s drawers.
By contrast, over to port, a more traditional navigational aid hangs huge in the night sky. Orion. There’s a sharp edged beauty out here, the scattered constellations above and more immediately the boat, the pale bow wave, the heaving rowers. A shooting star arcs over Rigel. It would be enough to bring a tear to my eye if I weren’t concentrating so hard on not ‘slicing the ham.