Summer Rowing

Summer rowin’, havin’ a blast/Summer rowin’, happened so fast.

Met a marker, over went me!/Hey manatee! Don’t hit me!

The Boykin at our launch point, ears flapping in the salty breeze.

The Boykin at our launch point, ears flapping in the salty breeze.

Since coming back from Australia, the oar handles have been slippery with humidity, clothes sticky walking from the car to the gate, and boat covers soaked from late afternoon rain.

Taking proper precautions is important. It’s that time of year where extra hydration matters! I switched to bringing a bottle instead of my flat bladder and have committed to emptying it by the drive home and drinking a second within the hour. Dehydration headaches are not fun.

Sunscreen is a must. And bug repellent at the boat yard. Sand flies love a breakfast of hot, sweaty women first thing in the morning.  But washing hands after applying is equally important. Sunscreen increases slippery handles and bug repellent makes the plastic handles I use extra tacky, but not in a good way.

Double rainbow from a rain cell during sculling camp.

Double rainbow from a rain cell during sculling camp.

All the Florida wildlife is out, too. Our 4x had an close encounter of the sea cow kind not too long ago. It lifted our bow clear out of the water. The tail thwacked our riggers and splashed us all as it took off, equally as scared as we were! Dolphins aren’t so scary, but fun to watch. And reportedly, a sea turtle was spotted in the inter coastal!

An early morning storm rolls inland.

An early morning storm rolls inland.

And it’s not just animals. The other wildlife, the crazy boaters, are also heading out for a warm day of fishing. Jet-skiers and boat rentals are the worst. Jet-skiers treat us like obstacles to row circles around and boat rentals just don’t know the rules. Apparently “no wake” means “ram on the throttle” and “swamp the single!”

Summer rowing means watching the weather. Microcells and thunderstorms form at the snap of a finger and vanish just as quickly. Lightning can ruin any rower’s day. It’s not uncommon to see a gaggle of rowers staring at the distant thunderheads judging distance and its potential direction.

On the flip side, all the thunderheads and storms make for some spectacular sunrise and sunset rows!

The sunset lights up a thunderstorm.

About camckenna

I write; I row.
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