Up front, you need to know that, so far, the perfect ocean rowing day exists only in my imagination. However, this is what it might feel like – close your eyes and try and picture this…. (I leave it to you to figure out how to continue reading my blog with your eyes shut 🙂
The ocean is calm, with small rippling waves gently pushing your boat towards your destination. The waves sound a like a babbling brook, gurgling and giggling around the boat’s hull.
The temperature is warm and pleasant, with small puffy cumulus clouds dotting a blue sky, providing occasional moments of welcome shade as they pass across the sun. A soft breeze cools your bare skin, whisking away the perspiration. You have the whole ocean to yourself, with nothing but sea and sky and clear blue space all around you. You have room to think and breathe and just be.
The rowing seat glides smoothly backwards and forwards on its runners, and the oars swivel in the oarlocks as you ply the oars. The boat has acquired its momentum and you’re just pushing it along, each stroke connecting efficiently with the water, the rowing motion easy and fluid, regular as a metronome.
You glance at the GPS and it’s showing a steady rate of progress of 20 knots (okay, that’s just silly. It would be nice, but it’s never going to happen. Let’s keep this realistic. 3-4 knots is good). You watch the miles slowly tick down as you move slowly but surely across the ocean. Your boat is in perfect working order, as is your body, and your mind. You know you can handle whatever the ocean throws at you. You feel happy, confident, and fulfilled.
Okay, now you can wake up. This is a nice fantasy, and may never come 100% true, but today was pretty close. Apart from a slightly wonky wheel on my rowing seat, today was probably as close as I will ever get to ocean rowing nirvana.
I’ll enjoy it while it lasts. The forecast is for another day of similar conditions. But come the weekend and all hell breaks loose, with adverse winds hollering at 30 knots and pushing me backwards. Lee my weatherman has advised me to batten down the hatches and chuck out the sea anchor. Sigh.
Today I finished listening to Pardonable Lies, a Maisie Dobbs novel by Jacqueline Winspear. I really, really enjoy these detective stories set in 1930s London. The heroine is immensely likeable, and the plots are well constructed. Then, in a rather radical change of tempo, I started on “Life” by Keith Richards, which starts with him being busted for drugs in Arkansas in the 1970s. It is narrated by Johnny Depp. Need I say more?
A special hello to any of my old OULRC friends who are reading this blog. I was thinking about you today. Natalie – I know you’re there, and thanks for your recent comments. I hope you’re settling in well in Mill Valley and finding some kindred spirits.
And a shout-out to Samudra, who donated some yummy nuts for my voyage. Today I was munching on some Cosmic Love Clusters, and feeling suitably cosmic. And lovely.
Photo: We’ve come a long way… OULRC crew 1988 (I’m in the stroke seat, closest to the camera)
Our thanks go to David Lewis and Bradley Kehoe.