Saturday, July 27, 2013


Rowing and Paddling are two different things. 

First, paddling is not hitting.  When I hear the word "paddle", I used to think, of a child being punished.  "If you don't behave, you are going to get a paddling".  Of course, now, the adult would go to jail for "paddling a child".

Rowing is a different instrument.  Also, a different type of stroke.  By stroke, I mean what you do with the instrument in your hand. 

Yes, it is a paddle - there are different types of paddles. Steering or stroking.  Wood or fiberglass.  T-grip or palm.  Different lengths too. 

You want to sit in a chair, reach your arm straight up in the air, put your hand around the top (t-grip or palm) and have the shaft sitting on your knee.  Then your paddle is the correct length.

If you are in a double canoe - there are 12 people.  A single canoe - 6 people.  You stroke 14 times on one side.  Someone is a "caller" they count the strokes.  On the 13th stroke, the caller says "Hut".  The entire crew replies "HO" at the start of the next stroke,  then you change sides.  The stroking on the other side of the canoe.

There is a "stroker"  This is the person whom everyone else follows.  The person that sits in the first seat on the boat.  Everyone "enters" the water with their paddle at the same time. Everyone stroking at the same time.

There are different "drills" you can do.  For example, the person whom is steering, may say "Ok, on the next switch, give the first 5 strokes 100%, then 80% for the rest.  Do this for two sets."  Meaning, stroke as hard as you can for the first five times (not faster, but more strength), then 80%, then switch sides and do it again."  Then on each side one more time.

We go to the "recreational" paddling group.  Which means we paddle for 1.5 miles (20 or so minutes), then hang out and swim for a bit, then paddle back.

I've "paddled".  I've called.  I've even stroked. 

I'm the youngest one there most of the time.  There are first timers, there are those whom have been paddling for years.  There were a group of tourist hotties there a few weeks ago.  A cute guy my age was there the other day too (I'm hoping he is back tomorrow!)
Then of course, there is my entourage.  For two weeks, the boys didn't go.  There was life guarding.  Their days were pretty full.   I either went by myself or with Mary down the street. Now, well there is me.  My neighbor Mary (whom is in her late 50's) is gone to the mainland for a month - her cousin, Donna, is staying at her house.  Donna had a daughter and son-in-law here (they came with us on Tuesday).  But Thursday, I have me, my 70 year old neighbor's cousin and 3 teenagers. 

Are we going paddling?  This is our conversation everyday.  I will pick up Donna - she offered to drive, but well, we have to go get the girl.  She said she would drive.

So tomorrow,  I will drive.   Leave the house at 5:45am Pick up my neighbors cousin (at 6).  Pick up my summer daughter (at 6:10) then go paddle.  Me and my entourage.

Not sure when you had people begging you to pick them up at 6 am, but I have a group of them.  My tribe may not look the way I thought it would, but we are one loyal tribe.  Following each other one paddle at a time.

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