Eagle Dance — Sculling on a Wild Lake
31.8 Miles — 51.2 Kilometers
The boat stayed on the car. The little red dock got another upgrade. Sunday was going to be in upper 40’s with wind 9 mph or less. I even got an earlier start than usual for the 30 minute drive to the lake. We had been having some rain and snow so chances were the water levels might be up.
I have a confession. Since the Achilles heel injury … I have gotten out of my routine of getting to the gym at 5:30 every morning. I’ve really only been back since Halloween a handful of times. I’ve only rowed a few times too. So I have gained my usual winter hibernation weight … which slows a girl down on a Flyweight. No better reason to get out for a good long row.
On the way in, I stopped at the cabin to find the Deputy on duty, who turned out to be Deputy Staten who was very chipper and sweet on that sunny morning. The lake is open now since the water has come up a few feet. So now I can relax about getting on the lake, but will have to factor in bass boats in my steering.
The first thing I did was place my little red dock … and in the process, managed to stumble on the very rocks I am trying to cover so I won’t fall while carrying my boat. Better to fall putting the dock in place. Luckily, I didn’t get wet, but I did give my left knee a sharp knock that I would have put an ice pack on right away if I weren’t anxious to get on the water.
For some reason, my early start turned into my more usual later-than-I-wanted start. I manage to get going by 12:15. Sunset was going to be at 5:24.
It was in the low 40’s so I wore my neoprene socks trimmed down to my ankles, shorts and two jerseys. One mile into the row … right at Bob’s boathouse, in fact, the long sleeves came off and I rowed sleeveless as is my preference the rest of the day, wind chill factor, or not.
I went ahead and snapped a picture of the boathouse as it is the best indicator of the lake level out there. It has come up several feet, so staying on my GPS line is safer now, but I did make an effort to row inside the line anyway while thinking out-of-the-box, as promised.
Then I started back out and within a few minutes, there was my friend the Bald Eagle flying low and slow 50 feet from my bow. I stopped to watch until he landed on a tree on the opposite bank. I tried to keep my eye on him, but soon rowed out of sight. I saw quite few hawks the rest of the day, but no more close encounters. Watch Eagle Dance below. It is some of slow-motion footage of the Bald Eagle that Bob shot on the day we filmed the Sculling for a Blue Angel Music Video.
It was a beautiful day to be grateful for in early February only a day or two after a snow fall. Despite my later-than-I-wanted start, I fiddled not at all, made no stops longer than it took to take a bite of an apple that I didn’t even finish until I landed and I downed a Doubleshot at about mile 10. I didn’t row very fast, but like the tortoise and the Energizer Bunny, I just kept going and going and going.
My goal for the day was 30 miles. I came in at 31.8.
I’m looking forward to getting back in shape. It’ll take me two or three weeks. I’ll keep you posted.
It was 41 degrees when I got off the water. The little red dock is working like a charm. I decided to pull the car all the way down the ramp to load the boat, which worked out nicely, saving me the long steep climb. But my fingers were just about frostbitten by the time I finished securing the boat. I’ve gotten the hang of cold weather sculling, but Spring is just around the corner and will be so welcomed — even though it means I will have to share the lake with humans again and steer around bass boats.
This time I brought ice packs so I put ice on my knee for the 30 minute drive home, put ice on my knee again when I went to bed and iced it quite a bit today. Other than that, I feel great and my knee is on the mend.
Saturday looks like another rowing day, so the boat stays on the car!! I’ll try to get started earlier and do some real mileage. 🙂
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