Since closing up shop last spring Susan has been freed to to finally take up a few things lingering on her to-do list. One of these was taking rowing lessons at the Narragansett Boat Club.
Located along the western (Providence) bank of the Seekonk River, the NBC offers a variety of courses for all age groups. So, in early summer Susie first started with the basics on a barge of like-minded beginners. After a short hiatus of several trips traveling to Michigan, she finally got back into the swing of things and joined the next level up, the "zephyr" class: one person one boat. She loves the workout, and is especially taken with this days when the river is like glass and it's just her, the boat, the river and the oars.
Well this past weekend was one of the rowing world's preeminent events, the Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston, Massachusetts. Teams from all over the world came to compete -- not just university teams such as Boston, West Point, Navy along with scores of other colleges but boat clubs of all age groups were represented as well. The southern bank of the Charles River was pretty much wall-to-wall rowing boats, teams and paraphernalia between the Eliot and Arsenal Bridges.
Traffic along Soldiers Field Road around Christian Herter Park, the hub of the event, was insane and parking was at a premium to say the least. So we opted to leave our car at a nearby mall lot -- near a Staples store -- and walked 10 minutes along the river to see what the fuss was all about. We soon found ourselves knee-deep into big-time rowing subculture. The river was packed with team boats, eights and foursomes seemed to be the mainstay team sizes represented while we were there and it was not only interesting and enlightening but downright fun to watch the boats gliding effortlessly (!) up and down the river.
Although rain spitted off and on that afternoon there was no serious interference by the weather gods and like so many others, we thoroughly enjoyed being out on a nice autumn day along the river savoring life.