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A Gear Shift for Oars, Courtesy of Chris Cunningham, Small Boats Monthly

Friday, September 30, 2016

CATCH: Rowing Drake in Casco Bay


In February of this year, we included a post on rough water rowing, featuring  Dale McKinnon from an article in Small Boats Monthly. And then in September, we presented Clint Chase’s Drake.  Following is an excerpt from Clint’s blog on rough water rowing Drake in Casco Bay, Maine.
“Rowing in open water like this scares the hell out of me. When I sit there, in the swell, looking out, the butterflies flutter inside, making it more challenging to assess the situation and peruse the mental checklist of precautions. Weather window, ferry traffic, tidal currents, my energy level, time of day, schedule back on land, amount of food in the dry bag, do I have all the gear I need, what is plan B, plan C..."
“But I am learning that these butterflies are annoying but good; they keep me alive and ultimately confident. Once I am out there in open water, and I am feeling strong, confident in the boat, and having a blast, I relax and therefore row better. In my open water boat, Drake, I can cover about 4 nm per hour and that is an average. Time slips away and life is good. Christmas has been wonderful, and the weather cold, and now I begin to plan big rows for next year. I am training for long distance rows and hope to make a 20-mile row somewhat routine. Halfway Rock, located below the 'Not' in "Not for Navigational Use" (see his blog article for the exact location) is uncannily "halfway" between the Eastern and western points that define Casco Bay. It is an exposed rocky isle with a lighthouse. Landing there will be difficult, so when I row there next summer, it will be my longest pull yet, at least 25 miles total, depending on the exact route.”
Overview of Casco Bay, Maine


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