Rowing where no rower has rowed before…

William Shatner would have been proud.   Usually we go “North” or we go “South.”  Okay, so maybe we row by Spanish Point, or up to Midnight Pass, or, if you’re really brave, skirt the Casey Key side.    Today I decided to try rowing up to Oscar Scherer State Park.  I don’t know if I’m the first to give it a go, but I haven’t heard of anyone trying.

I already scouted out this route online using Google Maps.   The entrance is in the mangrove stretch southbound in a little canal we pass by all the time without thinking twice about.

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The current practically gushes out of the narrow opening.   Even in a single it’s a tight fit to navigate around the sailboats and docks.   A double could do it, but I don’t know about a 4+ or 4x and definitely not an 8+.

Once you row around the first corner, the current slow down as the area widens.  It’s well-marked with square green posts curving off to the side.   First I followed the canal around the point first, surprising a boat and some roofers working on a house.   I ended up a three-way junction with an obvious dead end before I turned about and traced the shoreline, which is lined with white stakes.

A nearly ran into a tiny mangrove bush popped up in the middle of the current coming west from the park.  The way upriver is well-hidden in the mangrove, but after navigating around the bush US 41 and the bridge is revealed.     The river is narrow here, which means it takes some force to pry up current.   I stopped to scout the bridge.    Mangroves have grown in front of one of the openings, leaving two narrow channels.   The pylons are solid across the traffic lanes, like two concrete walls.    It might be possible to fit a single through, but you’d have line up perfectly and maintain a course straighter than an arrow not to whack the sides.   I opted not to risk it, let the current push me around, and zipped back out.

Sometimes, you just need an adventure row.

On a side note, I like the Green Peinert, but the seat drives me crazy.     One of Marlene’s tips for me was to keep my legs down and quads flexed just a smidge longer.   In the green, as soon as I swing to body over the seat tips forward and the back wheels come up out of the tracks.   I keep getting stuck and I know I’m losing acceleration.  I almost can’t swing at all.

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About camckenna

I teach; I write; I row.
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