Monday, November 07, 2005

OAR NW Launch

Today the only American group planning to row across the North Atlantic in next year's Ocean Rowing Race officially launched their boat near Shilshole Marina in Seattle, WA.

I was there in my Escapade.

It turned out to be a beautiful day, not at all like what was predicted. There was a light southerly breeze, the tide was high and ebbing, and there were folks from the local newspaper (Seattle Times), a radio station and two TV stations (KIRO and KING). The Escapade managed, I'm sure, to be in quite a few pictures and video segments. :-)

As the 29 foot ocean going rowboat headed away from the dock I asked if anyone wanted a ride. A woman from the Seattle Times said "Sure!", and climbed aboard.

We went in pursuit of the rowboat, and caught up pretty quickly.

After a couple of loops outside the breakwater, accompanied by Deb Natelson in her rowing shell, we headed back to dock.

The reporter got out, and the woman in the rowing shell and I went off on a much longer loop around a buoy just off shore at the north end of the park. I managed a speed a little over 5 mph, mainly due to the aid of the wind and tide. The return trip was at about 3 mph.

After the Escapade was back on its trailer several of us went on the rowboat as guests. We did another loop outside the breakwater. On the return portion the reporter and I took turns at rowing. She had never before rowed, and it showed. I did OK, though at the end when we were skimming alongside the dock there was nothing I could do but yell just before one of the oars got crunched by colliding with a set of steps bolted onto the dock. Don't blame me - I wasn't the driver!

Oh, well.

Details on OAR NW can be found on their web site.

Pictures from the day can be found here.