15km around Wellfleet Harbor

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

Screen Shot 2017-05-23 at 9.55.54 AM

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.

Screen Shot 2017-05-10 at 9.27.40 PM

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.

Screen Shot 2017-05-23 at 2.09.48 PM.png

Screen Shot 2017-05-23 at 2.13.18 PM

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.


Another 10K on the bay

Today was going to be my grand adventure.  But it didn’t turn out that way.

I got to bed around 11, and I slept hard until almost 9am.  So, I got a later start than I wanted to.  I finally was loaded up and left the house around 9:30.  While I loaded up, I realized that I had forgotten to print out my map.  Damn.  I guess I would do the best I could from memory.  I drove over to a different beach which I thought would be better for launching near low tide.  It was.

I got everything down to the beach and was about to put my boat down in the water when I noticed that I didn’t have my seat.  Blast!  I put my boat up high on the beach (the tide was coming in) and drove home to get my seat.  About 10 minutes later I was back on  the beach putting my boat in.

The partly cloudy and light easterly winds that were advertised did not seem to be in evidence.  The sky was grey, and a moderate wind from the South was blowing.  This beach faces north so the water was nice and flat off this beach.  The wind was going to get worse.  Here’s the weather data.

Screen Shot 2017-05-13 at 6.42.06 PM

I finally launched just before 10am.  I wanted to be home before noon, so I decided that I would limit my adventure to about 90 minutes.

Here was my original plan.

Screen Shot 2017-05-10 at 9.27.40 PM

Here is what I actually did, superimposed on the plan.

Screen Shot 2017-05-13 at 7.25.45 PM.png

Here is the course, from Google earth, with heart rate, which helps tell the story.

Screen Shot 2017-05-13 at 7.28.42 PM.png

a. Launch from beach.  Notice that the Speedcoach isn’t showing pace.  Remember that speedcoach is set to use impeller, which this boat doesn’t have.  Stop and change the setting of the speedcoach.  Start rowing again.  Take 10 strokes, notice that the speedcoach is not started.  Start the speedcoach.  Get going.  Notice that the water is getting quite shallow.  Decide to change course to take me a bit offshore.

b.  Stay on the same course until I reach 1.5km.  Then return to original course (330deg).  The wind is building a bit now, and the waves are pushing around the stern.  I’m surfing on some of the waves.  This part of the row was good fun.

c.  When I reach the breakwater at the mouth of Wellfleet inner harbor, I stop and turn.  Now I really notice how much the wind has built.  I made this turn at about 10:10.  The wind was 12 mph sustained with gusts up to 15.  The waves were starting to build.  I started to push up into the headwind.  I thought the course from my plan was 210 deg, it was actually 200.

d. Anyway, I was doing fine for a while, and then I hit a stretch with particularly nasty waves.  I stopped to open up the bailer and started again.  That’s the little dip in the HR.  Looking at the chart, that place seems to be a bit shallower.  I guess it would make sense that the waves would be nastier in the shallower spots.  It’s hard to see the difference looking over your shoulder.  Anyway, after opening the bailer and getting going again, I was doing ok.  Until…..

e.  If you look at the google earth image, you can see the color of the water change.  On the chart, you can see that the bottom shoals here.  The waves suddenly got really, really bad.  I wished that I had the gopro mounted because I’d like to look at it after the fact.  It felt like the waves were well over a foot tall, and my bow was plunging right into them.  They would roll back over the deck and completely fill the cockpit.  This happened 3 times in a row and I decided that it was stupid to keep going in this direction.  I had no idea if the wind would build and I was barely able to make headway as it was.  I decided to turn for home.

f.  I steered due east, and tried to work my way through the beam seas.  You can see that my HR was pretty low in this stretch because I couldn’t really take full strokes.  I just picked my way through the waves and when I would get a really bad set of waves, I would just paddle through them, then try to accelerate during the smoother chunks.  After a while, I could see  that my easterly course was going to take me too far north, so I turned and rowed to SE for a while.

g.  As I rowed into the lee of the island, the waves were blocked and the water flattened out very nicely.  I started to row with longer strokes and it felt really wonderful.  My HR was quite low today for the level of effort.  This section was very enjoyable.

I noticed that the pace was quite fast for open water, and I realized that even though I had a little bit of headwind, I was rowing with the current.  I got back to the beach with about 9000m on the speedcoach.  I like the blog title “10K on the Bay”, so I did 500m more past the beach, turned and came back.  I was having so much fun, I kept going.




It wasn’t the long row I intended, but it was useful practice.

A side note.  I spent an hour trying to fix the leak in my boat.  It turned out that there are a couple of cracks in the bulkhead between the seat deck and the bottom of the footwell.  The rigger attaches to this bulkhead and the screws that hold it in place were frozen in place.  The whole bulkhead looks like it is about to go.  Ultimately, I will need to cut out the whole bulkhead and replace it (or more likely just sell the boat).

But since I wanted to fix the leak and I couldn’t get the rigger off, I decided to just work around it.  I mixed up a batch of epoxy resin and cut a few strips of fiberglass and just reinforced the area where the cracks were.

2017-05-13 19.53.21

This photo shows the rigger attachment to the seat deck bulkhead.

Here’s a close up of the ugly repair.

2017-05-13 19.53.42

It is not pretty, but it seemed to work.  After bashing into the waves, I only had about a cup of water drain out after I was finished.

Tomorrow:  Marathon training session.

M2 3 x 20′ / 2′ MP, 10KP, HMP 90.0% (167)


  • MP –> 180 to 195W
  • HMP –> 195 to 210
  • 10KP  –> 210 to 225

10K on Wellfleet Harbor

Weather:  It was nice until I decided to go rowing.  I didn’t go first thing in the morning since the tide was low.  (It’s tough to launch at low tide because there are extensive sand flats all around the island.  High tide was at 2:40pm.  I launched about 12:45.  As I walked over the dune to the beach, I noticed there was a bit more wind.  It turns out it continued to freshen through the row.  It turned out to be quite an adventure.

Screen Shot 2017-04-29 at 7.14.59 PM

Screen Shot 2017-04-29 at 7.18.03 PM

I turned north and headed up to Wellfleet Harbor.  I actually headed somewhat NW, into the wind and waves until I was past the north point of the island.  Then I headed more northeasterly with the wind and waves on my stern quarter.  It was only 500m or so, but it felt longer in the boat.  Then I lined up a course to take me to the end of the wellfleet harbor breakwater.  The wind felt like it was on my port bow quarter, and this was actually a reasonable course with the building waves.  At this point they were probably 12″ or so and quite unpredictable.  I’d get a couple big ones, and then a few minutes with much smaller ones.  I enjoyed this part of the row a lot, but not as much as when I turned the corner after the breakwater.  I turned east.  The wind was close to dead astern, and the breakwater took care of the chop.  There was a longer period swell that seemed to bend around the end of the breakwater and I was surfing down the face of these waves.  This was a blast.

It all came to an end when I turned around at the east end of the harbor.  All of the sudden the wind that was diminished by me going in the same direction, was right on the bow.  Going into the harbor, I was rowing 2:30-2:40 splits, coming back out, I was lucky to get below 3:30.  Even on smooth water, this was hard work.  As I came out past the end of the breakwater, and hit the waves that built up across the broad fetch over to the great split, it got even rougher.  My original thought had been to cross over to Chequesset Neck and then row down the great spit, which would have been somewhat sheltered  from the waves, then I would cross back over to the island at  the south end of the spit.   That plan did not last too long.  I bashed my way against the waves and the wind for a few minutes and then decided that I had had enough.  I turned for home and tried to navigate with the waves a little bit forward of my beam.

This was easier, but still a lot of work.  I would go through sections where the water was reasonably flat and I would get some good strokes in, then I would slam into some bigger waves and completely fill the cockpit with water.  The bailer couldn’t keep pace with the all the water that was coming in.  At this point the waves were 12 to 18″ and I was struggling with the conditions.  The worst was the last 1000m.  This part was over the shallow Lt Island shoal that extends out from the island.  The waves were much bigger here and most of them were breaking.  I just tried to pick my way through them.  You can see my HR went down a lot in this section.

You can’t really see just how slow I was going when I turned around into the waves on the summary chart.


So, here it is in isolation.


I am trying to construct what happened when.  I used Google earth, which can show telemetry along the mapped route to figure it out.


A.  Decide to head straight up to Wellfleet instead of heading over to Indian neck since the waves were building.

B. Turn behind the breakwater.  The next chunk was fun.

C.  Turn around to row back into the wind.

D.  Get slammed around enough that I decide to head straight home instead of heading for Great Spit.

E.  Huge waves stop me dead and fill up the whole cockpit, even the seat deck was under water.  Noticed that the self bailer was a bit fouled, cleaned it out and continued.

F.  Get to the shoals around the island and the waves start breaking.  Pick my way between them back to the beach.

Even though it was hard work, and frankly a little scary at times, I enjoyed it and I think it provided some useful rough water practice.  I feel pretty confident about what the boat will do in these circumstances and I’m getting the hang of working with the waves.

It was also a pretty good workout.


I noticed a couple of interesting quirks in the telemetry.

First, the algorithm that NK is using to detect strokes doesn’t work as well as RIM when you are going slowly and getting slammed by big waves.  In the comparison plot below the RIM data is blue and the NK data is red.  The total stroke count on the NK was way off too.  I was counting strokes and NK was over counting by about 5 strokes per hundred.


Second, there is a mismatch in total logged distance.  In the first half of the row, with less wave action, they match up well, but as soon as I was pounding into the waves, RIM started to give me credit for more distance than NK.  One idea is that RIM might be measuring distance in 3 dimensions and NK is measuring in 2?  But by the end, it was a difference of about 500m


When I got back to the beach, enough water had leaked into the bow of the boat that I could not lift it.  I had to flip it over and let it drain for 5 minutes before I could carry it to the car.  I think I found where the leak is.  There is a crack in the bulkhead between the seat deck and the cockpit bottom.  Whenever the cockpit gets full, water can drain into the bow.  Since the cockpit was basically full the second half of the outing, the boat must have been half swamped by the time I was back to the island.  No wonder it felt so sluggish.

Next weekend, I think I need to do some fiberglass work!


Back to the Bay! First Open Water Row of the Season.

I was not expecting to be able to get out on the water this early in the season, but I lucked out to day.  It was sunny, and the temp was in the mid sixties.  Water temperature was around 45F, but it felt warmer than that.  There was a bit more wind than I would have liked, but not nearly as much as we had yesterday.

Here’s the weather data from my house for today.

Screen Shot 2017-04-17 at 5.05.34 PM.png

I launched right before 1pm, so the wind was building during my row.  This caused waves between 8″ and 12″.  This is big enough to present some steering challenges but not big enough to make it unpleasant.  There were a few scattered white caps.  Just to give you an idea of what it was like yesterday, here’s the weather data.  We had gusts up to 65mph over night on Saturday night and Sunday night.

Screen Shot 2017-04-17 at 5.11.46 PM.png

But thankfully, by the time Monday rolled around, it was much calmer.  I launched from the little beach a couple minutes away from my house, and rowed north up to wellfleet harbor.  This was splashy and slow into the wind and waves, but it was quite nice to be out on the water again.  On the expanse of the bay, my boat feels very small, especially when the waves build.   I finally made it to the breakwater of the onner harbor and turned.  Although the wind was from the north, it hooked around a bit and when I rowed to the east into the inner harbor, I was going with the wind and the waves.  This was some of the fastest splits I saw of the day.  I rowed up past the end of the town jetty and turned around into the wind and the tide to slog out of the harbor.  Once I passed the breakwater, I turned south and had the wind on my starboard stern quarter.  This was a tough angle to maintain.  The waves tried hard to push me to starboard and I had to maintain much heavier pressure on that side to stay straight.

Ultimately, I got the hang of getting my point and timing my strokes to surf the waves.  I would end up off course, but could swing back and repeat the cycle.  It was pretty fun and the time flew by on the way back to the island.  I rowed in front of my house back to the beach and landed there.

One bad thing, there must have been about a gallon of water in the boat.  I really have to get it fixed if I’m going to use it in the Blackburn.

Screen Shot 2017-04-17 at 5.18.17 PM.png

Sad but true.  I go slowly enough in my Alden star so that the pace doesn’t show up right in the plots.  You can see I was pushing hard enough so it was a good aerobic workout.  I was also trying to keep my rowing reasonably light by aiming at a stroke rate of 20.


Here’s a better view of the pace.  The first 2500 meters were into the wind and 8″ to 12″ waves.  The section from 2500 to 4000 was still into the wind, but I was approaching the north shore of the harbor and the waves were smaller.  I think I was also getting a bit more help from the incoming tide.  Around 4000m was where I turned into the harbor and I was rowing with the wind, tide and waves.  It was fast and fun. 5000 to 6200 was right into the teeth of the wind and against the tide.  Fortunately not much wave action.

Then from 6200m to the end I was rowing downwind with the waves on my stern quarter.  The pace variations were basically dependent upon the size of the waves and whether or not I was getting swamped.  That happened a lot.  You can see from the HR that I was holding a pretty consistent level of pressure.


All in all an unexpected treat being able to get a row in this time of year.


Saturday: 14K open water in Wellfleet

Sunny warm and beautiful.  Brisk wind from the NNW between 10 and 15 mph with gusts to about 20.  This kicked up a fair amount of chop away from the windward shore, so I tried to stay close to shore where I could

I launched at 8:40am.  Here’s the weather data.

Screen Shot 2016-08-27 at 1.24.27 PM.png

Screen Shot 2016-08-27 at 3.51.36 PM.png

I launched from the small beach near my house, and rowed along the shore of Lt Island.  Then I cut over toward indian neck.  On the water, the wind felt like it was more NNE than NNW, and once I got over to the indian neck shoreline, there was nice smooth water and a bit less wind.

I went into Wellfleet inner harbor and I wanted to explore up into Duck Creek.  It was a good thing I did, because as soon as I turned around the end of the breakwater that forms the entrance to the creek, my boat was surrounded by a school of fish, they looked to be between 6″ and 12″ long and they were swimming so fast that they were stirring up the surface of the water.  I wasn’t sure why they were so agitated, but when I looked around there were a couple of seals peeking out the water at me.  They soon went back to hunting these fish, there were thousands of them.  A most amazing site.

Screen Shot 2016-08-27 at 6.34.30 PM.png

I turned at the end of the marina and then rowed all the way out of the harbor and along the Wellfleet town beach to the west until I got to great island.  By then I had done about 9km and I needed to turn for home.  I didn’t stay as close to the beach on the way back and there was a lot more chop, which was basically on my beam.  I needed to ease up a bit and work on balance and timing to get both oars engaged at the catch with the boat rocking around.

I wanted to get over to the eastern shore a bit before I turned for home to avoid a bit of the chop, but time was growing short so I decided to just turn and row with the waves.  This was a blast.  Sometimes I was surging down the fronts of waves, but I needed to be really aware to avoid catching my oars on them on recovery.  In this case catching an oar is not the kind of slap that I am used to in flat water rowing, but burying the whole damn blade in the back of a wave.  I don’t want to give the wrong impression.  I would be surprised if many of the waves were over 12″ tall (except when they merged with a passing wake).  But it was enough to really change the way that I could row.

I surfed all the way back in front of my house to the little beach.  Then I had to carry my boat over the dunes back to my car.  One issue with the boat.  Every time I row, I get a good liter of water in the boat that drains out when I open the plug in the bow.  I suspect that the seam between the hull and the deck is cracked.  I’ll have to try to fix it this winter.

Edit:  Adding graphs from rowsandall.com

Here is the pace data leaned up and scaled so you can see the slow bits that were going into the wind and waves.  The worst was the bit from about 5 minutes to 10 minutes.  The bit from just after 20 minutes to 30 minutes was tooling around wellfleet harbor.  I struggled with the waves from about 55 minutes all the way to about 1:10.  The big slow downs were huge wakes combined with the waves that pretty much swamped me.

resized plot.png



Friday: 16K in Wellfleet

Today was deceptive.  I launched from the base of our stairs.  I came in yesterday at our house and stored the boat on top of the breakwater (not an easy thing to do, by the way).

This morning I had some time to think through my technique.  Basically I do it in steps.  I lift the stern, carry it halfway down the seawall and set it down.  Then I do the same thing for the bow.  Repeat as necessary to get to the beach taking care to not let the boat slide along the rocks.  It’s a bit nerve wracking but a lot easier than cartopping to a long walk to the water.

Anyway, I got myself launched and headed out.  Again it took about 10 strokes of touching sand before I was in deep enough water.  Then I headed east across the bay.  The wind was from the north and as soon as I cam out from  the lee of the island, I got hammered by the waves coming at me from the stern quarter.  They were just over a foot, with some whitecaps. I decided that turning around and heading up to indian neck would probably give me better water.  A good idea.  As soon as I turned around and was heading up into the wind, I filled the cockpit with water.  It also splashed the crewnerd hard enough to turn the damn thing off.  I could still see my splits and rate, but it wasn’t recording any data.  I need to come up with some kind of a splash cover for the phone or just give in and buy a Speedcoach GPS2.

I was right about the water.  I rowed to indian head and the water smoothed out.  There was still a fair amount of wind, but it was entirely rowable, and quite enjoyable.  I rowed up to the north end of the bay, then turned west and rowed along the north shore to the north end of great spit.  Then turned and rowed back all the way to the inner harbor, and around the outside of all the moored boats back to the end of the breakwater.  Then I cut back to indian head and rowed south along the shore all the way to where the salt marshes inland of Lt Island are.  Finally I cut back west and rowed to the north point of the island and around the shore in front of our house.

All together, I’m guessing it was about 16km in about 90 minutes.

We have some company coming tomorrow, so I am not sure if I will get a row in.  If I do it will probably be a short one.  I’m liking this open water stuff, and I’m getting a hang of rowing this boat.  Basically, I need to rate a little higher and row a little lighter, with a gentler push at the catch, building up the pressure through the stroke.  It also is pointless to pay much attention to the splits because with the wind, waves and tidal currents, it bears only the slightest resemblance to effort going in and the quality of the rowing.  A much better indicator is heart rate.  Today, my HR was generally between 144 and 150.  144 was when I was rowing downwind which is easier but requires a fair amount of concentration.  150 was rowing into the wind, which is technically simpler but a lot more work.


Thursday: 15K Open Water Row

Tuesday:  To much going on.  We headed back to the cape in the late morning.  I stopped for groceries on the way.  Once I was set up in the house, the wind was too strong for rowing.  Whitecaps all over the bay.  I went for a walk instead.

Wednesday:  Lots of projects.  Furniture getting delivered.  Buying lumber and hardware and digging post holes to put up a clothesline.  I was hoping to go for a row in the afternoon, but it was still quite windy, sustained winds between 15 and 20mph with gusts to 25.

Thursday:  Weather report indicated lighter winds in the morning so I got up round 7:30 and headed out around 8:30.  I’ve decided that it is impractical to carry the boat own the stairs.  They are too steep and rickety, so I threw the boat on top of my car and headed off to a place by the beach that I could park.

The beach is not steep at all, so I had to carry my oars out to the water’s edge and then go back and get my boat.  This round trip took about 5 minutes or so.  In that time, the tide had come in enough to float my oars. I got myself setup in the boat and rowed out to deeper water.  I was touching my oars to the sand with just about each stroke at first but within 5 strokes, I was free and clear.

The goal for today was to get used to rowing this boat in open water.  It will take a while to get used to rowing in waves.  Each direction relative to the waves brought unique challenges.  From some respects, rowing right into the wind was the easiest.  It was also the most taxing.  Waves coming on the quarter bow or stern tended to really throw the boat around.  From the side, the main challenge was to get both oars firmly set at the catch.  Straight downwind was kind of fun.  It seems to work best if you adjust stroke rate to match the wave frequency and take a stroke at the crest of a wave and surf down on the recovery.

Thursday the wind was from the southwest.  It was blowing pretty good when I first started at 8:30, but died down a bit as I went along.  This wind direction is generally unprotected, so the waves get bigger.  I think they were maybe 8″ to 12″ high with some bigger ones.

I was out for an hour and 15 minutes and covered about 16km.  All UT2 / UT1.

New Backstays on the Alden

I’m procrastinating.  I slept in this morning and didn’t feel like doing the time trial.  I am also feeling a bit worn out.  Over the last 7 days I’ve totalled 9:30 of time rowing, and 99,828m.  That’s a huge increase compared to how the rest of this season has gone so far.  My weekly averages are 54,000m and 4:45.  They have been great sessions and I’m glad I’ve been home to be able to do them, but I am sore all over and feel very low energy.

But truth be told, part of it is being scared of the time trial.  I’ll either go over later today or do it tomorrow morning.

But in the mean time, I finished the project to put new backstays on the Alden.  I broke a backstay a couple weeks ago, as I described here, during my first real outing in the Alden Star.  After that, I tried to find a replacement backstay.  I attempted to contact the folks who sold me the boat (no reply), I attempted to contact Alden (no reply).  I called the folks at Adirondack Rowing.  They were great.  They told me that they did not have the part, and that they were having a lot of trouble getting any merchandise from Alden.  They pointed me to another guy who might have the part.  He did not, but told me that it would be a lot easier to just make them instead of trying to buy them.

I asked him if there was anything special about the material.  He said that most of them were standard aluminum tube.  So, I google my way over to onlinemetals.com, navigated my way to the aluminum tube products and bought:

  • Aluminum 6061-T6 Bare
  •   Drawn Tube
  •   0.5″ x 0.049″ x 0.402″

They had anodized, but not in the dimensions I wanted.  I might eventually paint them, or I might not.

Then, I paid a visit to my Dad, who has an impressive workshop.  He was so excited by the project that he went out and bought himself a new, bigger, better, vise to form the ends.  Using the one backstay that I had as a template, I cut the tubes to length, then flattened the last inch in the vise.  Matched the hole sizes from the previous backstay to a drill and drilled the holes for the ends.  A little work with a file to remove all the burrs and we were done.

Here’s the result.

The only thing that I am not completely happy with is the original was formed on the ends so that the bottom side of the stern end and the top side of the rigger end were flush.  You can see in the picture above, that with available technology (a bench vise), that the flattening is centered on the tube, so there is a slight interference between the round tube and the stern deck.  The problem is entirely cosmetic though.

Well, that’s done now.  On to the next project.  And hopefully, I’ll get myself pumped up enough to go rowing.

Sunday: 70 minutes steady state in the Alden

Sunny, 70s, windy.  Wind SW 5mph with gusts to 15.  Sun sparking on the water.  Really beautiful.

Today the plan was a low intensity steady state session.  I decided to take my Alden out for a spin to get used to rowing it and to figure out what kind of paces are reasonable in a shorter and wider boat.   I went to Lake Whitehall, which is about 5 minutes from my house and is a popular kayaking, fishing, and canoeing spot.  No rowing though.  It works OK, but the longest straight is about 2K and that requires some fancy steering through a couple of narrow spots.  As I found today, it also builds some chop.  It was not an issue in an open water boat, the power boat wakes weren’t either.  They were kind of fun to row over.

The Dual XGPS160 acted up again today.  For the first 15 minutes of the row, the pace was just bouncing all over the place.  Getting stuck for a few seconds, then dropping down to 0:02/500, then returning to normal.  Looking at the view on the map, there were a bunch of zigs and zags as the GPS position got messed up and then locked in again.  For some reason, it started working after about 15 minutes.


myimage (20)

The first half of the row was quite enjoyable.  Since the boat turns on a dime, I tried to hug the shoreline more closely than I normally would.   After that, the heaviness of the boat started to get to me.  I learned that the analogy that Concept2 uses to describe drag factor is spot on.  The heaviness on the drive and the faster deceleration were exactly the same.  The only difference is that you don’t have the magical PM making the splits faster for that extra effort.  You just go a bit slower. My best guess is about 0:20/500 slower.  So, the same effort that produces a 2:30 pace in my fluid, produces a 2:50/500 pace in the Alden.

In essence, I will be doing a fair amount of bungee rowing.  This has good and bad aspects to it.  The good is that it slows everything down on the drive so it is easy to focus on blades depth and not missing water at the catch.  The bad is that the load is heavy and I will need to adapt to two very different boat feels.  One thing is clear though.  It is much better than erging, both in terms of the stroke mechanics and also just getting outside and having some great scenery.

By rowing for over an hour, I found two additional issues with the boat.  The first is the seat.  I must have a different butt geometry than what the seat was designed for.  I started noticing some pain at my right sitz bone about halfway through the row and it kept getting worse and worse.  By the time I finished, I could barely support my weight on my right leg, and I was concerned that I might not be able to carry my boat out of the water.  After about 5 minutes, the pain subsided a bit and I could function, but it’s still quite sore today.  I’m going to try to get the exact same seat as what I have in my fluid.  I can sit on that for hours without pain.

The second issue was much more serious, and far more abrupt.  As I was rowing back from the south end of the lake to the launch ramp, about halfway, all of the sudden I heard a big bang off to starboard in the middle of my drive.  I was sure that something had broken, but I wasn’t sure what.  I looked at the rigger and I couldn’t see any damage immediately, so I took a couple of gentle paddle strokes while watching the starboard rigger.  Ah ha!  I saw that the starboard backstay on the rigger had parted right at the oarlock pin.  Every stroke, the rigger was flexing toward the bow.   This picture shows where the backstay broke.


So, now I will try to get some new backstays and get it all fixed up.

Start_|_Dist_|__Time_|_Split Pace_|_Strokes_|_SPM__|_DPS__|_Remarks
00010_|_4190_|_14:23_|_1:43.0_____|_276_____|_19.2_|_15.2_|_corrupted data
06072_|_3000_|_16:33_|_2:45.5_____|_327_____|_19.8_|_09.2_|_tail wind
13900_|_1303_|_10:06_|_3:52.7_____|_177_____|_17.5_|_07.4_|_broken rigger

9472_____|_54:32_|_2:52.7_|_1083_____|_19.9_|_08.7_|_Main set
1531_____|_12:38_|_4:07.6_|_209_____|_16.5_|_07.3_|_rest meters

Today:  I skipped rowing this morning because I didn’t get to bed until after 1AM last night.  I’m hoping to get a sprint session in on the erg before I fly to Germany tonight on the red eye.  The plan is 4 x (6 x 1′ on / 1′ off) 5′ rest.