Duel Rowing

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Fri 17 Dec 2010 00:49

Position: At anchor Puerto Taltal
Weather: Sunny, warm

Today’s big achievement was mastering dual rowing techniques, though perhaps at times duel rowing seemed a more appropriate term. We carry a small 2 HP outboard for the dinghy which is handy for long distances but it is a bit of a hassle to break out of its stowage and mount on the dinghy just for short distances - it is only some 100 meters or so from where we are anchored to the jetty. Also I just prefer to practice more traditional techniques wherever possible. The side by side rowing method was used by the early cruising couple, Eric and Susan Hiscock, who were trail blazers in a small boat navigation in the 1950s, famous for their low key circumnavigation in the diminutive “Wanderer III”. Martina and I tried this method out yesterday and today and it has proved a little easier than I thought it would, and it was fun. Its major advantage over having one person row and the other sitting in the back of the dinghy is not so much the sharing of labour, though this is definitely an added bonus, but rather that the dinghy remains well trimmed. With a person sitting in the back of our little Walker Bay 8, a robust little plastic dinghy with the lines of a traditional clinker rowing boat, the stern squats and creates a lot of drag, whereas with two people sitting side by side on the centre thwart, wielding an oar apiece, keeps the dinghy properly trimmed and therefore much easier to row. It obviously takes a bit of coordination but we managed to stay in a relatively straight line and even built up quite a bit of speed with very little effort, as a large inquisitive seal stuck its nose up astern of us no doubt wondering what all the fuss was about.

Ashore we purchased some fresh fruit and vegetables (Martina’s presence is definitely improving my diet) and some wine and beer (no significant change to this part of my life style I am pleased to say).

Fresh fish for dinner tonight.

All is well.

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