Monday, August 24, 2015

Lake Sunapee Rowing Club 2015 Flag Pole Race

The Lake Sunapee Rowing Club (LSRC) email announced their annual Flag Pole rowing race would be Sunday, August 23rd at Georges Mills from 6 am to 8 am. The boat categories would be singles, doubles, quads and eights.  After the races there will be a pot luck breakfast at the beach. 

This was an interesting email for competitive LSRC members, but there was no way I could consider any type of crewing competition.  Certainly three weeks of rowing lessons was not supposed to make me a competitor. 
 
After our weekly lesson on Tuesday, KC approached me and asked, “Steve, would you be my doubles partner in the Flag Pole race on Sunday?”  Never say, “I wish I had …” crossed my mind, and I said “Yes, thanks for asking.”

I did give KC an out option by saying, “If you can find a partner with more rowing experience please do so and I will completely understand.”

To ease my restless nights before the race I was assured by KC, “Steve, it is really a very causal, friendly, and low-key competition."



Enough said.  Enjoy the below four minute video of Steve’s participation in the Lake Sunapee Rowing Club Flag Pole Race.


Click ROWING through the eyes of a beginner to see Steve’s earlier post on his rowing lessons.


You can contact the Lake Sunapee Rowing Club at http://www.lakesunapeerowing.com/

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"Everyone must do something.  I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"

Steve’s latest book, Outdoor Play "Fun 4 4 Seasons" is available as an e-Book at Kindle ($3.99) and hard copy at Amazon.com ($11.95)

Monday, August 10, 2015

ROWING through the eyes of a Beginner.


Rowing Lessons with the Lake Sunapee Rowing Club (LSRC)

“Never say I wish I had …” is an expression that has always motivated me.  All summer I passed a road sign announcing, “Rowing Lessons Lake Sunapee Rowing Club. Next class starts August 3.”   I had watched snippets of racing shells on the Merrimack River, TV, and in summer Olympics.  I decided this was my time to say, “Never say I wish I had rowed a shell”.

I spoke to a friend who I knew was taking rowing lessons with the LSRC – and she sent me the web site with a note of encouragement to join.

I registered for the Novice classes – three weeks of classes – three times a week – two hours each class.  The LSRC provides the boats (also known as shells).  Rowing is often referred to as crewing.

Our coach, Brenda, is just an amazing instructor with knowledge, skills, and a lot of patience.  Brenda makes the classes fun with personal instruction for each student, and a wealth of education on learning the language and techniques of rowing. 

Enjoy the below video of this novice student and my classmates as we team and row together to never have to say, “I wish I had learned to row.”






Bedford Community Television (BCTV) has accepted a 30 minute video (see below) detailing Steve's novice rowing experience.  The dates and times of playing will be published shortly.  All community TV stations are welcome to use this video by contacting BCTV or by communicating directly with Steve. 

I share the below references for each reader's intense research to the fascinating sport of rowing.

Distinction from other watercraft
“The distinction between rowing and other forms of water transport, such as canoeing and kayaking, is that in rowing the oars are held in place at a pivot point that is in a fixed position relative to the boat, this point is the load point for the oar to act as a second class lever (the blade fixed in the water is the fulcrum). In flatwater rowing, the boat (also called a shell) is narrow to avoid drag, and the oars are attached to oarlocks at the end of outriggers extending from the sides of the boat.   Racing boats also have sliding seats to allow the use of the legs in addition to the body to apply power to the oar. Racing shells are inherently unstable, much like racing kayaks or canoes.” 

Two types of rowing
  • In sweep or sweep-oar rowing, each rower has one oar, held with both hands. This is generally done in pairs, fours, and eights. In some regions of the world, each rower in a sweep boat is referred to either as port or starboard, depending on which side of the boat the rower's oar extends to. In other regions, the port side is referred to as stroke side, and the starboard side as bow side; this applies even if the stroke oarsman is rowing on bow side and/or the bow oarsman on stroke side.
  • In sculling each rower has two oars (or sculls), one in each hand. Sculling is usually done without a coxswain in quadsdoubles or singles. The oar in the sculler's right hand extends to port side, and the oar in the left hand extends to starboard side.



My first boat was a quad scull.  quad scull is a rowing boat  designed for four persons who propel the boat by sculling with two oars, one in each hand.  This four seater quad was 45 feet with a weight of 200 lbs. Its cockpit width is 20 inches.  Our two oars were 9' each.
My second boat was single scull one seater 24 feet in length, 75 lbs., and a 20 inches wide cockpit designed for a single person who propels the boat with two 9’ oars, one in each hand.
My third boat was a double scull two seater, somewhat similar to a single scull but has two rowers.
My fourth boat was an Eight (8+), A 60 foot shell with 8 rowers and a coxswain.  We did what is called sweep or sweep-oar rowing where each rower has one 12 foot oar held with both hands. As each rower has only one oar, the rowers have to be paired so that there is an oar on each side of the boat. Sweeping is in contrast to sculling with my quad and single boats where a rower has two oars, one in each hand.


Some special attire is needed for rowing. Snug fitting shorts and shirts are best as loose fitting clothing could get caught in the oars and seat tracks. Compression type shorts are ideal. Dry socks is also a must. Socks should be synthetic or wool to help ensure that feet stay warm while wet and will help prevent blistering from the hull’s shoes.

Personal Insights of a Novice Still Learning to Scull and Sweep
  • As I was canoeing this week it hit me why canoe instructors always say, "Keep your paddle in the water during rough conditions." As sculling and sweeping oar blades in the water stabilized the boat, so does the canoe paddle blade!
  • In canoeing and kayaking the paddlers face the bow.  In sculling and sweeping rowers face the stern.  Thus the rower in the bow in the quad, double, and single need to frequently turn around to see where they are going.  The bow person not only has to row, BUT has to make sure we are heading in the right direction and away from obstacles. 
  • In learning to row the instructor does not usually have everyone row at the same time.  Initially I thought this was to give me a rest.  Later I realize while not rowing I still had a critical task keeping my blades on the water to stabilize the boat for the other rowers
  • In the eight, quad and double if I made a mistake, the rowers stabilized the boat for me.  In the single this was my responsibility - otherwise I would capsize.
Bedford Community Television (BCTV) has accepted the below 30 minute video detailing Steve's novice rowing experience.  The dates and times of playing will be published shortly.  All community TV stations are welcome to use this video by contacting BCTV or by communicating directly with Steve. 




You can contact the Lake Sunapee Rowing Club at http://www.lakesunapeerowing.com/

Below are references of some of the terms used in the video.
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References

Lake Sunapee Rowing Club
http://www.lakesunapeerowing.com



How to position hands on oars
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3MdSkh2s2o

Rowing technique with diagrams on the rower
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8a9nKkp1OM


Getting into a capsized single and double
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VYfvuXcSuqs

Recovery to Catch: How to Position Your Hands and Hold Your Oars

Head of Charles Regatta
http://www.hocr.org/the-regatta/competitors/registration/
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"Everyone must do something.  I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"


Steve’s latest book, Outdoor Play "Fun 4 4 Seasons" is available as an e-Book at Kindle ($3.99) and hard copy at Amazon.com ($11.95)



Sunday, July 5, 2015

Kayaking Lake Coniston




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"Everyone must do something.  I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"


Steve’s latest book, Outdoor Play "Fun 4 4 Seasons" is available as an e-Book at Kindle ($3.99) and hard copy at Amazon.com ($11.95)

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Ballad of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway


(To the tune of “Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes-Benz” by Janis Joplin)



Introduction

This Allagash Wilderness Waterway Ballad video was prepared from participants’ memorable moments of expeditions guided by Registered Master Maine Guide Linwood Parsons and his wife Betty.

Without a doubt, the Allagash Wilderness Waterway rates as the gem of Maine’s wilderness areas.
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The Ballad of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway

(Kathy)
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a big can of Ben’s.
I’m out in the woods now,
The flies never end.
Got bitten all over,
No help from my friends.
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a big can of Ben’s.

Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a bed of my own.
A mattress and box spring
That’s not on the ground.
Last night I got bruises,
I slept on a stone.
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a bed of my own.

Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a roll of TP.
Those baked beans of Betty’s
Are getting to me.
Been wiping with leaves
Til I got poison ivy.
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a roll of TP.

(Linwood)
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a deputy’s badge.
We helped save two druggies
At Little Allagash.
Ole Andy was naked,
And Tara was scared.
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a deputy’s badge.

Oh Lord, won’t you buy me new waterproof gear.
“Dry bags” became “wet bags”
When we sank to our ear.
We swam down the rapids
A chasin’ the beer.
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me new waterproof gear.

(Betty)
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a few more good years.
To paddle with Linwood
And Harry mit beers.
Chase Rapids with Karen
Without many fears.
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a few more good years.

(Karen)
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me an instant campfire.
No sawing of firewood,
No stripping of bark.
No pleading with Linwood
Or Harry to lite it.
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me an instant campfire.

(Harry)
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a brand new spruce paddle.
Chase Rapids are coming,
Excitement is high.
Cross draw, sweep, and a pry,
Til we all finished dry.
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a brand new spruce paddle.

(Steve)
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Maine Master Guide.
To show us the Allagash,
In swagger and stride.
And teach us canoe rescue,
And a loon landing wildlife bona fide.
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Maine Master Guide.

Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Chickadee and a Loon.
The bread in the Dead,
Cornish hen in the coffee can.
Folger’s Black Silk,
and a pudding lid spoon.
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Chickadee and a Loon

Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a campsite to rest.
Spruce gum for the rookie,
Counting moose at its best.
A swim though the rapids,
Flint and steel for our test.
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a campsite to rest.

Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Long Lake Dam
A dam to portage if you can,
Or paddle at risk and I’ll be dam.
A spike waiting to rip the canoe,
Tim and Steve paddled be dammed.
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Long Lake Dam.

(Tim)
Oh lord take me down to the Allagash now.
Take me to the north woods,
 Where the moose runs wild and proud.
To see the eagles soar,
As I relax on the shore.
Oh lord take me down to the Allagash now.

Oh Lord, won't you buy me some rapids right now.
The "V" through the rocks
will guide us somehow.
The draw stroke shall save us
with a quick turn of the bow.
Oh Lord, won't you buy me some rapids right now.

(Dundee)
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me more beer.
To help me create more cairns made of stone,
And the whistles of willow,
And the white birch bark stars.
So much more to create, so
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me more beer!

(Paul)
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a big ole white sail.
I’m on Eagle Lake and,
The wind never fails.
My arms ache from paddlin’,
Oh, S#%t is that hail?
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a big ole white sail.

(Linwood)
Oh Lord, won't you buy me a big ole fat fish.
I'll gut him and skin him,
Then he'll land in my dish.
An eighteen inch Brookie,
Now that'd be my wish.
Oh Lord, won't you buy me a big ole fat fish.

Oh Lord, won't you buy me a bigger Canoe.
'Cause the one I have now,
Just simply won't do.
Need more room for the beer,
for the hard strokin' Crew.
Oh Lord, won't you buy me a bigger Canoe.

(Rick)
Oh Lord, won't you buy me some stars in the Sky.
They look near at hand,
yet, are so high.
I'm just a lightening bug seeking a mate,
in the heavens above, but I'm feeling spry.
Oh Lord, won't you buy me some stars in the Sky.

(Steve)
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me paddlers so grand.
Dundee is prepared,
And navigates first hand.
Timothy skilled in the stern,
When the river gets tough he insures the turn
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me paddlers so grand.

Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a campfire recipe.
Garret flint and steel,
Tim saws wood fire-to-be.
Linwood’s cuisine is five-star,
Lobster and eggs benedict are the par.
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a campfire recipe.

Oh Lord, won’t you buy me “Never say I wish I had …”
For eight days we were in awe of the Allagash and the Loon,
Our skills grew as we paddled in tune.
Coolers with names of rivers,
All are lifetime of memories delivered.
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a “Never say I wish I had …”

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"Everyone must do something.  I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"


Steve’s latest book, Outdoor Play "Fun 4 4 Seasons" is available as an e-Book at Kindle ($3.99) and hard copy at Amazon.com ($11.95)

Saturday, May 2, 2015

An Eagle Sighting at Perkins Pond, New Hampshire


Four friends paddle on Perkins Pond in mid-April amongst open water and sheets of ice.  They seek to determine if they can paddle from the northern point of the Pond at a spot called Chickadee Point to the southern section of the Pond noted as Piney Point. Is the day to declare ice-out?

Suddenly a large bird with a white head is spotted flying toward them. "Look an Eagle!"
 







Other Winter Happenings at Perkins Pond
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"Everyone must do something.  I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"


Steve’s latest book, Outdoor Play "Fun 4 4 Seasons" is available as an e-Book at Kindle ($3.99) and hard copy at Amazon.com ($11.95)

 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Perkins Pond Ice-Out April 22, 2015


Perkins Pond Protective Association (PPPA)

 
On March 1, 2015 Perkins Pond had 18 plus inches of ice.  The ice was insulated with hard packed snow from snowmobiles and XC skiers and what was left of the  ten feet of winter snow.  Would the winter ever end?  Would the ice ever melt?

Gary, President of the Perkins Protective Association, in collaboration with Dundee, came up with the idea of getting Perkins Ponders thinking toward spring and gathering money for the Association’s water monitoring efforts with a Perkins Pond Ice-Out Contest.

Gary sent a March 18 email to all home-owners registered with the Association announcing the Perkins Pond Ice-Out Contest.  All submissions had to be in by March 26, 2015.

Dundee was asked to set the criteria for ice-out.  Steve was asked to monitor ice-out, along with Gary.

Ice-out is deemed to have occurred when a boat can freely navigate from the point separating the coves at the south end of the Pond known as “Piney Point” to the point at the north end of the Pond Marking the entrance to the outlet known as “Chickadee Point.”

On April 17, there was some open water around the north edges of the Pond, and Dundee, Gary and Steve slid their canoe and two kayaks into the open water and proceeded to Chickadee Point (next to the outlet by the large beaver lodge).  Their efforts to paddle south to Piney Point (the peninsula at the south end of the Pond) were quickly stifled by the thick ice.

To inform those Perkins Ponders interested in the ice-out progress, Ann and Robert generously let us show their web link of their live web cams viewing from the north end of the Pond to the south end.  This allowed those with Internet access to 24 hours a day viewing of the ice-out evolution.

On Apr 18th Steve paddled from Chickadee point to the public landing when he could go no further due to the ice.

On Sunday April 19th, Dundee, Gary, Mike D., Gerry and Steve attempted to paddle from Chickadee Point to Piney Point but were prevented by the thick sheet of the ice.

From April 20 – 21 Gary and Dundee continued monitoring ice out from Chickadee Point to Piney Point.

On April 22 in the late afternoon Gary took pictures of ice out on Perkins Pond.

Throughout iceout Mike G. had his live web cam viewing from South to North.  Further, Mike G. condensed the April 20 - 22 video of ice out in a 90 second video which you will see on the video here.  This is a fascinating 90 seconds view of the last three days of ice on Perkins Pond.

As an added benefit to ice-out, on April 19th the monitors spotted an eagle landing on an ice flow in front of Mike D.’s house.  Steve managed to film the eagle – and this exciting occasion is included in the video. 

Enjoy the below video of the ice-out monitoring from April 17 to April 22.



PERKINS POND ICE-OUT CONTEST




OFFICIAL RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR PPPA ICE-OUT CONTEST

ICE-OUT IS DEEMED TO HAVE OCCURRED WHEN A BOAT CAN FREELY NAVIGATE FROM THE POINT SEPARATING THE TWO COVES AT THE SOUTH END OF THE POND, KNOWN AS “PINEY POINT”, TO THE POINT AT THE NORTH END OF THE POND MARKING THE ENTRANCE TO THE OUTLET, KNOWN AS “CHICKADEE POINT”.

 THE CONTEST WILL BE A TRADITIONAL 50/50 FORMAT WITH THE WINNER RECEIVING 1/2 OF THE “KITTY” AND THE OTHER 1/2 GOING TO THE PERKINS POND PROTECTIVE ASSOCIATION’S GENERAL FUND TO ASSIST IN ASSOCIATION ANNUAL ACTIVITIES.

THE WINNER WILL BE THE PERSON WITH THE PREDICTION THAT IS CLOSEST TO THE EXACT DAY OF ICE-OUT.

 IN THE EVENT MORE THAN ONE PERSON PREDICTS THE EXACT DATE OF ICE-OUT, THE 50/50 KITTY WILL BE SPLIT EVENLY BETWEEN THE WINNERS.

 DUNDEE WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR DETERMINING WHEN THE CRITERIA HAS BEEN MET FOR OFFICIAL ICE-OUT.

STEVE WILL ACT AS MODERATOR TO ENSURE THE CRITERIA FOR ICE-OUT HAS BEEN MET. 

YOU MUST BE AT LEAST 18 YEARS OF AGE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE CONTEST.

ALL ENTRIES MUST BE RECEIVED NO LATER THAN MIDNIGHT ON MARCH 25TH, 2015.

ENTRIES ARE $5.00 EACH WITH A LIMIT OF 10 ENTRIES PER PERSON.

 BELOW IS A LOG OF RECENT ICE-OUT DATES AS RECORDED BY DUNDEE AND LINDA.
Perkins Pond ice out dates
From Dundee and Linda
March
April
1993
18
1994
20
1995
29
1996
12
1997
10
1998
19
1999
7
2000
28
2001
28
2002
1
2003
21
2004
13
2005
12
2006
31
2007
23
2008
20
2009
5
2010
1
2011
20
2012
18
2013
10
2014
19
2015
22

Other Winter Happenings at Perkins Pond
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"Everyone must do something.  I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"

Steve’s latest book, Outdoor Play "Fun 4 4 Seasons" is available as an e-Book at Kindle ($3.99) and hard copy at Amazon.com ($11.95)