15km around Wellfleet Harbor

The weather was much nicer on Sunday morning.  I headed out around 8:30 and launched just before nine.

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The wind was from the ESE at 10-12mph with gusts to 15mph.  This was enough to kick up seas around 1 foot once I was out toward the further out part of the row.

I was following the same “long row” course that I defined a couple of weeks ago.

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I didn’t have enough time to do the whole course, so I cut off the 4.9km out and back.  This turned out to be a wise move for a couple of reasons.  First, it was getting pretty bumpy and I was a bit concerned about rowing into the wind and waves for 7km.  Second, my boat broke when I was still about 3km away from my launching point.

Here is a video of the fateful event.  The breakage occurs at 50 second in.


Prior to that I was having some fun in the waves.  Here is a video of the last couple of minutes heading out to Billingsgate Island.  The waves were getting a bit bigger and I was surfing down some of them.  Then I turn and head back toward home.  It was about 20 minutes later when I broke the backstay.

Here’s my overall course, from Google Earth.

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I need to recheck the course.  It looks like the initial 1.2km is wrong and the heading for the leg down to billingsgate Island is a bit off too.  I was glad to see that my lines were much straighter from paying closer attention to the course.  The stay parted just a little bit north of the buoy nearest the “0.5km/20deg” label.

I was also happy with the HR profile of this row.  I wanted to try to maintain this as a UT2 row, because I will need to stick to that kind of a pace for a 3 to 4 hour event.  In the summary plot you can see that I held the same heart rate both upwind and downwind.  The pace was good, bnetween 2:40 and 3:00/500 until I turned into the wind and waves.  Then it was a lot slower, as you can see in the next plot.  Then around 1:17, the boat broke and I was limited to a slow paddle.

myimage (1)

So, I had a blast during this row.  I am bummed out about the boat, but to be honest, I was worrying that it wouldn’t be seaworthy for the race, given the kinds of conditions that can occur.  I was also feeling quite vulnerable as I got into bigger seas far away from land.  I bought the boat cheaply to find out if I like coastal rowing.  I have decided that I really do.  So, I think I will buy a proper boat that I can trust.


4 thoughts on “15km around Wellfleet Harbor

  1. gregsmith01748 says:

    I had to lighten up the pressure a lot, but I could still see the rigger flexing the seat bulkhead where it was attached. It also made a sickening crunching noise during each drive. The boat is probably repairable, but you would need to unmate the deck and hell, cut out the bulkhead, build a new one, find new fittings for the rigger and remount it.


    • gregsmith01748 says:

      I needed to go to a meeting and pushed publish instead save so I finished and updated it later. I’m planning to buy a Maas Aero. They are lighter (39lbs) and more popular in the US. A lot of open water rowers are using it so you can match up more easily.

      Liked by 1 person

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