Friday, July 27, 2007

Rowing on the ocean



Yesterday, There was a rare occasion when the tide was high enough to use the launch ramp South of Campbell River. This ramp is out of the main tidal rush between Vancouver Island and Quadra Island. I saw the flags were promising sailing winds too, so I launched with great anticipation. Once I was in the water, I raised the sails and wondered where the wind had gone? I slowly drifted in the back eddies of the tidal flow until I gave up on the idea of sailing. I thought I would instead, treat the people walking on the Sea-Walk to the sight of a beautiful boat being expertly rowed against the tide. I furled the main, raised the rudder and the dagger board.

I worked on my technique and vainly tried to keep the boat going in a straight line, despite the cross currents. I was in shallow enough water that I could see that I was making progress and could see from my wake that I was really moving in relation to the water. Now and again I gasped as I glided over some boulders. I lasted for a half hour then paused for a water break. I let the tide move me back south then turned the boat and rowed out to where I thought I saw windy water. Found it was tidal turbulence and had a few minutes of rowing in a choppy river. Twenty minutes brought me back to the ramp. Despite it being as calm as the lake, it was great to be on 'big water' as it added to my confidence.

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