Adam Kreek here.
Yesterday, I woke up at 4 am to go on an adventure with a bunch of my friends at the Whitehall Spirit Rowing Club. We have white, slide seat rowing boats that have a copolymer thermoformed plastic hull made to look like the old whitehall boats rowed on the river Thames in London England.
We rowed out into the dark night, awed by the neon green phosphorescence that lit the water as our oars and hulls cut through the water. It was beautiful. Two “Tango” whitehall shells. Myself and Andrea in one, and Dianna and Sarah in the second.
To be safe we were accompanied by the trimaran Physis (seen at the bottom of the post), captained by Harold Aune and his longtime partner Mea Hutchins. Both are owners of Whitehall Rowing and Sail. Jan, a whitehall rowing club member was also on board Physis.
Just past halfway into the 16.7 mile row, we were in fog, 20 knot winds and 6 foot swells. For safety reasons, we had to turn around. The weather combined with inexperienced oarspeople and poor clothing choices to cut our row short.
Because it was Sarah’s first time in big swells, she did not feel comfortable. This is a good sign to turn your adventure around. Sarah and Diana pulled their boat out of the water onto the deck of Physis. Andrea and I kept going for 45 more minutes. However, Andrea was wearing lycra spandex and a thin top. As the waves crested and soaked us both, I could hear that the swear words and chattering teeth from my bow woman were only getting worse.
We should have had warmer gear on board because we were getting splashed bigtime. I was wearing a merino wool top, which kept me warm in the wet. Another suggestion would be a dryfit top to keep in the body heat.
I had a track & field coach in highschool who always said “You cant put on what you dont have.” This is a lesson for coastal rowing adventure. Be prepared for the various microclimates that exist on the open water.
We returned from cold foggy, wet, windy ocean to the harbour in Victoria BC. It was warm, sunny and calm. Go figure. Be prepared for Neptune and Mother Nature. Pack for the worst, expect the best.