12km in Wellfleet. Fantastic!

What a beautiful day for October.  It was nearly 70 degrees and sunny.  There was a bit of wind blowing from the southwest, maybe 10mph.  This was kicking up some very lumpy chop.

I went to row at nearly high tide and it’s a full moon, so all of the roads to the beaches where I launch from were underwater.  I ended up launching off the bottom of our stairs to the water, which took some maneuvering, but worked out fine.

The plan was for 60-80 minutes of steady state.  Heart rate limit at 157.

Since the water was so high, I decided to row up into Wellfleet inner harbor and explore a bit.

The ride up north to the harbor was a blast.  I was surfing down the waves and filling the footwell all the time.  The bailer worked great, but it does slow me down a bit.  When I turned behind the Wellfleet breakwater, the water got nice and flat.  I enjoyed poking around there and I was a bit worried about how much slamming it would be to row back into the wind and waves to get home.

After a planned stop for a drink, and an unplanned stop to clear some reeds off my skeg, I headed back out past the breakwater.  It was bouncy, but very rowable.  I was a lot slower, but in control and moving nicely.  I decided to extend a little bit by rowing out to my favorite buoy before turning to go back to the house.

Getting out of the boat was as much of an adventure as launching, but nobody died and nothing got broken.  So, I’d call it a success.

        Workout Summary - media/20171007-214327-Greg Smith 20171007 1257pmo.csv
Workout Details
00|05052|29:30.0|02:55.2|000.0|20.0|149.1|159.0|08.6 -

Tomorrow – hopefully another easy aerobic coastal row.  Next hard session will be a head race piece on Quinsig on Monday.

12km coastal row in Wellfleet

Oh, what a beautiful morning!  It was in the mid 60s, very little wind, flat water and bright sunshine.  It was just after low tide, and there was just enough water depth to launch and row out.  The seabirds were wheeling around my boat as I started out, and I could see the bottom.  Schools of striped bass swam under my boat chasing after smaller fish.

The Plan:

  • 60-80 minutes of easy rowing
  • HR cap: ~150
  • rate: ~20
  • Technique:  Work on keeping my knees together and tapping down cleaning without a lot of layback.  Get those blades off the water!

I followed the Lt Island shoreline out toward deeper water.  My path out is the more northerly one in the map below.  Once I was clear of the projecting point of the shoal, I turned west and headed toward the red buoy, but I couldn’t pick it up over my shoulder yet.  I was heading out and the tide was coming in, so the pace in this section was a bit slow.  After about 2000m, I did a more purposeful scan and found is bit to the south, so I turned and headed towards it.  I did a u-turn around the buoy and headed north to Wellfleet inner harbor, now with the tide behind me and the pace improved by at least 30 seconds per 500.  I rowed to the green buoy and then continued past two more marks around the tip of the breakwater.  I decided to turn at 6000m.  I stopped and had a drink of water.

I turned around and headed back the way I came.  I seemed to weave around a bit more on the way back.  I suspect that the tide was setting me east or west depending on my direction relative to flow.  The last 1000m of the row back to the red buoy was a bit sloppy.  A little bit of wind from the east had sprung up and there was a bit of cross chop that was making it hard to keep a good rhythm.  Once I turned into the wind at the buoy, the boat felt a bit heavier, but it was easier to hold a rate.

As I got closer to the end, I pushed the rate and pressure up a bit just for fun.

A fantastic outing.

Screen Shot 2017-09-24 at 12.05.17 PM



        Workout Summary - media/20170924-160226-Greg Smith 20170924 0910amo.csv
Workout Details
00|02397|15:30.0|03:14.0|000.0|19.3|134.2|147.0|08.0 - a/ tide
01|03610|19:30.0|02:42.0|000.0|19.3|144.4|148.0|09.6 - w/ tide
02|03643|23:00.0|03:09.4|000.0|19.6|142.8|150.0|08.1 - a/ tide
03|02180|11:55.3|02:44.0|000.0|20.8|149.0|160.0|08.8 - w/ tide

Tomorrow:  Short interval/Short rest on the erg.  15 x 3’/1′

Thursday: 4 x 1000 / 5′ Open Water

Weather:  Sparkling sunshine, perfect temperature, around 70F.  Light wind from WNW which built from nearly calm when I launched about 9:15 to about 10mph by the time I finished.  This was a cross wind.

Screen Shot 2017-08-18 at 10.13.23 AM.png

The tide was ebbing.  This was against me on the odd intervals and with me on the even intervals.


  • 4 x 1000
  • 5 minutes rest (roughly.  I paddled 500m and took a drink.  I didn’t actually measure how long the rests were.
  • Stroke Rate Target: 28spm
  • Pace target:  I wanted to be faster than the 15×3′ session (2:34)

I rowed out to Buoy 10.  This seems to be a good starting point for these kinds of workouts.  I did some 10s and 20s to get used to rowing at 28.  My hip/back felt a bit tight and sore through the warmup, but seemed to be loosing up by the end.

I got lined up and started the first interval with 2500m on the speedcoach.  Doing these intervals in a Maas Aero is a different experience from doing them on an erg.  On an erg, they are over in a about 3:30-3:40.  In an Aero, it’s a lot closer to 5 minutes.  So, I found that I had to pace myself a bit more.  There is also a lot to think about.  Steer a good course, react to the waves, look for boats, row with good form (especially, clean finishes and getting good clearance o recovery).

I felt like I was pushing hard, but my HR was lower Thursday than it was on Tuesday.  Not that it mattered much, this was a good workout.

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        Workout Summary - media/20170817-194615-Greg Smith 20170817 0919amo.csv
Workout Details
03|01000|04:59.4|02:29.7|000.0|28.0|164.6|175.0|07.1 - not sure what happened here

I was pretty tired when I finished, and I took it easy rowing back to the beach.  I took a couple pictures of the beach where I launch.

Later Thursday, we headed back home.  We might head back to the cape this weekend.  On Friday, I think I will do an L4 maybe 60 minutes or so.


Monday: 15 x 3′ / 1′ Rest (Open Water L3)

Weather:  I launched in the late afternoon.  There was a light wind from the southwest which was kicking up some chop.

Screen Shot 2017-08-15 at 5.23.49 PM.png


  • L3: 15 x 3′ / 1′ rest
  • Stroke rate: 25 spm
  • pace:  Good question
  • Heart rate:  Maximize time in Threshold.



        Workout Summary - media/20170815-210759-Greg Smith 20170814 0356pmo.csv
Workout Details

Screen Shot 2017-08-15 at 5.21.22 PM

I launched from the bottom of our stairs.  This was a bit of a challenge, but I managed to get both oars in, and backed away from the steps without flipping. I warmed up rowing up toward Wellfleet.  When I turned around, I noticd just how bumpy it was.  The head wind was a bit annoying too.  I decided to row into the lee of the Island and do the intervals back and forth there.  I could do 3 intervals in a dog leg around the island, and only the end of the last interval would be exposed to the chop.

This workout is one of my very favorites.  You end up digging deeper and deeper as the intervals keep going.  By the time you get to the tenth interval, you tend to start them with very light pressure.  In that way, it’s good head race practice where you want to use a reasonably high stroke rate and light, consistent pressure.

Even in the lee of the island, it was a lot easier rowing with the wind that against it.  I noticed it most when I was rowing into Loagy Bay.

When I finished, I was totally spent.  I was trembling.  It was pretty awesome.

Today: A rest day!  Finally, I feel like I deserve a rest day instead of being forced into it by circumstances.



An easy 90 minutes on a grey morning.

Weather:  Overnight a front came through.  You can see the sharp change in the dew point around 4:30am, and then the spike in the wind around 6:30am.  Since this is vacation, I was blissfully asleep while this was going on.  I got up around 8:30.  It was really cloudy, but the rain seemed to have stopped.  I debated just doing an erg session, but it seemed so nice and flat out on the water. I decided on heading out for a nice long easy row.

Screen Shot 2017-08-12 at 5.28.37 PM.png

Of course, it started raining again as soon I was outside loading my boat.  But I hung in and it stopped by the time I had driven over to the beach.  It was close to low tide, but there was maybe 6 inches more water today  than yesterday, so no trouble finding a channel out to deep water.

The plan was to do a nice easy row.  I wanted to do most of it as UT2, and it turned out that way.  It was one of those mornings where my HR was pretty stubbornly low.  I can never really figure out whether that’s because I don’t feel like working hard, or if it’s some kind of after effect of a hard session the day before.

I went out without a firm plan about where to go.  I ultimately decided to head out to Billingsgate Island, and then back up to Wellfleet inner harbor.  All together, it was about 16km.  I took one break, about 2 minutes when I got up to  the harbor.  Other than that, I just rowed.

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Workout Summary - media/20170812-164441-Greg Smith 20170812 0922amo.csv
Workout Details
01|02600|14:57.7|02:52.6|000.0|18.5|123.6|138.0|09.4 - beach to buoy10
02|02700|15:24.7|02:51.2|000.0|19.5|139.3|143.0|09.0 - buoy10 to buoy8
03|03800|21:24.3|02:49.0|000.0|21.5|140.6|145.0|08.3 - buoy8 to buoy10
04|03100|17:26.6|02:48.8|000.0|21.3|139.6|145.0|08.3 - buoy8 to wellfleet
05|02365|13:35.2|02:52.3|000.0|21.6|140.7|144.0|08.0 - wellfleet to buoy11
06|01460|07:54.7|02:42.6|000.0|21.4|143.0|145.0|08.6 - buoy11 to beach

It was a bit choppy out between buoy10 and buoy8, but other than that, it was just tasty smooth water.  The tide was slack at the beginning, but by the time I did the last leg back from wellfleet, it was pretty strongly against me.

Tomorrow:  L3.  Probably open water.  I think I will do a row from the wellfleet breakwater out to buoy 8.  That will be 1.87+3.17+2.98 = 8.02km.  Roughly 40 minutes.  I will aim at a stroke rate of 24/25.

Screen Shot 2017-08-12 at 5.52.50 PM


What a blast…4 x 2k / 5′ – Open Water

Weather:  Broken overcast.  About 70F.  Wind started nearly calm and built up to about 5-6mph from the ESE.


  • L2 – 4 x 2k / 5′ rest
  • Rate Target: 25 spm
  • Pace target:  I have no idea.  Just row hard and see what happens.

Unlike rowing on the twisty section of the Charles River, there is no problem finding a perfectly straight 2km course down here in Wellfleet.  There are other challenges though.  Specifically shallow water, tidal currents, wind and waves.  I was looking forward to those challenges though.  It might keep me from focusing on my own heavy breathing.

I launched very close to low tide, and I was a bit worried by what I saw.  All of the boats moored off the beach were aground and the channel was close to the narrowest I have seen it.  But, I was here and I had a plan, so dammit, I was going to launch.  It worked out OK.  I could see the bottom and my oar blades were guide.  If I hit bottom on starboard, then I steered to port.  If I hit on port, I steered to starboard.  If I hit on both, I hoped for best.  And it worked out.  I puttered along until I cleared the tip of Lt Island, and I was home free.

I planned to row between 2 buoys which mark the channel into Wellfeet inner harbor.  This is 2.4km.  I figured I would row 2k, then paddle to the end and turn around for the next one in my 5 minute rest.

Screen Shot 2017-08-11 at 1.50.15 PM

After I got to deep water, I did an improvised warmup with some 10s and 20s at my target stroke rate.  And I maneuvered over to the red buoy that marked my start point.

I paddled until the speedcoach clicked over to 2700m, then I brought it up to 25 spm and steered a course of 200 degrees.  I counted strokes.  25 strokes a minute, so by counting strokes, I was also keeping time.  I checked the distace rowed.  I was taking just about 62 strokes to go 500m, aha, so the whole piece would be 250 strokes.  That bit of simple math kept me occupied for a little while.  I enjoyed rowing  this piece.  The water was pretty flat and the wind and the tide were behind me.  The Maas is very nice to row.  It feels heavier than my fluid, but it is responsive and fantastically stable.

I knew that there was a green can buoy along my path, but I was having trouble finding it while rowing under pressure.  All of the sudden, there it was, about 30 meters ahead of me, maybe 10 meters to my port side.  I had two thoughts.  First, wow, I almost hit that.  Second,  great job steering!  I clicked along through the rest of the interval.  It was a tough row, but I didn’t push it to the edge.

I paddled along for 4 minutes, then spun the boat, took a drink and set off on interval number 2.  This one was a lot more work.  The wind had built a little, so I was dealing with a bit more chop.  It was good because it forced me to row with my blades farther off the water during recovery.  If I didn’t, I smacked the wave tops and it slowed me way down.  The wind was on my port bow, and it really didn’t like the heading that I wanted to be on.  A few degrees more to the west, and things worked out a lot better.  I gave up on trying to go straight to the red buoy and opted for the easier ride.  The chop was substantial enough to fill my footwell by the time I got through the piece.  I opened the self bailer while I paddled and headed back in the direction of the Buoy.

The third interval was basically the same story as the first.  The wind was on my starboard stern.  It was easier rowing, but I was still getting splashed a bit.  It did keep me from getting too focused on the effort going into the interval, and counting strokes helped a lot too.

As I set up for the fourth, I noticed that I was running a bit short on time, so instead of aiming back for the red buoy, I set a course that would bring me closer to the beach when I finished.  This also had the advantage of putting me closer to the windward shore so the chop was much smaller and there was less wind.  I just counted strokes and made sure that I wasn’t going to run into anything and before I knew it, I was done.

And I was tired.  This was a lot of work.  But I’m really happy with how it went. I guess that’s the advantage of not having any real expectations about pace, and knowing that the wind and current will make the pace pretty much meaningless anyway.  I could just focus on rowing hard enough to be in the upper part of my threshold HR zone and do the session.  No real chance to “race my training” today.

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Workout Summary - media/20170811-172143-Greg Smith 20170811 0855amo.csv
Workout Details
01|02000|09:46.2|02:26.5|000.0|25.6|165.2|175.0|08.0 - w/ tide
02|02000|11:06.8|02:46.7|000.0|25.2|170.5|179.0|07.1 - a/ tide
03|02000|10:08.9|02:32.2|000.0|25.2|168.8|178.0|07.8 - w/ tide
04|02000|11:13.7|02:48.4|000.0|24.9|172.5|181.0|07.1 - a/ tide

Tomorrow:  Plan calls for an L4, I will substitute a 90 minute open water “easy row”.  HR limit around 150.

Sunday: 15km towards Eastham

Our guests left around 10am, and we set about cleaning the house.  I had such a good time walking the sand flats that I dragged my wife out for a walk around noon to explore around the north end of the island.

Things we well under control around 3 in the afternoon, so I decided to go for a row.  Just about all of my rows have gone north into Wellfleet Harbor, generally to ge some shelter from the prevailing SW winds.  Today, with very light winds, I decided to go south along the Eastham shore.

It was a very enjoyable trip.  I wanted to row for about 90 minutes, which at my plodding pace in the Aero would take me about 15km.  I was just going to row south for 7.5km and turn around and come home.

Screen Shot 2017-07-16 at 5.58.54 PM

The trip was in about 6 legs.

  • From the beach to Red Buoy #10 (across the incoming tide)
  • Southeast from the red buoy to the Eastham shore (incoming tide on the starboard bow)
  • South along the shore until 7.5km (straight into the tide)
  • NNE along the shore until I got to the southern edge of Lt Island (with the tide)
  • Follow the shore around to the northwest corner of the island (not much tidal current)
  • Back to the beach, with a little bonus distance to get to 15km. (with the tide, this was fun!)

As I rowed, I kept track of distance and time.  You can see the HR climbing as I approached 5K.  I wanted to be sure I did that in less than 30 minutes.  Then I eased off a little bit, until I was getting close to 7.5km, which I wanted to get done in under 45m.

I finished that about a minute and a half ahead of the pace  plan, and took about that amount of time to drink some water and turn the boat.

Coming back with the tide, I got way ahead of the plan, but I was having fun pushing a bit harder, so I went with it.   Then when I passed the northwest corner, and saw the pace getting faster from the tide, I wanted even more, so I kicked up the rate a bit and tried to hold about a 2:15 pace.

I saw that I would be short of 15km, so I headed a bit north toward the indian head shore line.  I turned back when I reached the floats marking the corners of the commercial oyster beds.  Then I just rowed until the speedcoach clicked over 15km.

I coasted to a stop had a drink and paddle back to the beach.


myimage (88)

myimage (89)

I took a quick look at the iphone versus speedcoach GPS data on the charting SW.  Generally it lines up very well.

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If you zoom in you can see some differences.  The most noticeable difference was the turn at 7.5km.  The error there is 40m.

We left the cape around 8:30 and it took us nearly 3 hours to get home.  I slept in instead of rowing this morning.  I’m going to go do a quick 10K on the erg at lunch instead.

Sunday: 15km in Wellfleet

Weather: nearly perfect. Temp in the low 70s, sparkling sunshine, wind from the NW at about 5-10mph with gusts to 15. This made the water lumpy, especially on the eastern side of the bay.

I launched from the northeast beach, my plan was another UT2/UT1 outing, about 90 minutes or so.

I headed up to Wellfleet inner harbor figuring that I would have less chop to contend with if I was closer to the north. As it turned out, the wind swung a bit to the west so I don’t think it helped all that much.

The row north was not that pleasant. I was bashing into the waves and not making very rapid progress. I was glad when I finally passed the breakwater and turned east. I was glad until 3 big cabin cruisers passed me at close range and high speed, stopping me dead in my tracks. After that, it was a smooth coast into the harbor, past the commercial dock and along the town jetty. I turned around the end and behind my boat, I saw a curious seal pop up his head to see what the hell I was doing.

I turned around behind the jetty and had a quick drink of water. A fishing boat pulled out ahead of me as I started to go back the way I came, and because of the “no wake” 5 mph speed limit in the inner harbor, I passed him. Later, as e passed the buoy marking the end of the speed limit, he returned the favor, complete with a monumental wake.

The row out of the harbor over to the great spit was another slog. I was going into to teeth of the wind but the waves were considerably smaller. I took on a lot less water and made good progress. I reached the shallows by the spit at around 8000m and turned SW to row in the lee of the spit. This bit was good fun. Flat water, wind on my starboard beam. I counted out strokes until I hit 11000m. In my fluid, on flat water, I do about 10m/stroke steady state.  In the Aero, which is shorter and slower, and with a slightly higher stroke rate, I do between 7-8m/stroke. So it takes 120 to 130 strokes to cover a kilometer.

When I hit 11km on the speedcoach, I had a quick drink, and turned for home. This was bouncy fun. I was going nearly dead down wind and the waves built as I went across to the east side of the bay. It wasn’t particularly fast, but it was a blast.

As I passed the northwest point of the island I started a slow turn back to the beach, finishing just past the 15km point.

After I got my boat loaded, I went for a quick and refreshing swim.

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myimage (86)

myimage (87)

Workout Summary - media/20170709-163411-Greg Smith 20170709 0901amo.csv
Workout Details


Tomorrow:  I catch a 8am flight to San Francisco.  I’ll be out there for a few days, returning on the Wednesday red eye.

Sunday: The voyage to the wreck of the James Longstreet

The weather is beautiful.  70s, Sunny, brisk breeze from the Southwest, around 15 mph with gusts a bit stronger.

I am trying to do longer rows to get ready for the Blackburn Challenge and I have been trying to get experience rowing in bigger waves. Today’s breeze from the southwest provided a terrific opportunity to do that.

The mission for today was to row up to Wellfleet Harbor and then row all the way to the Red Bell Buoy marking the wreck of the James Longstreet.  This was a freighter that was used as a practice naval target during World War 2.  The wreck is now almost completely submerged, even at low tide, but the buoy provided a challenging target for today’s row.

Here’s the planned course.

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I started at WP0001, which is locally known as kayak beach.  I had printed out the chart along with course instructions.


And then taped it in a ziplock bag to the deck beside the cockpit.  This worked out well, but I need to work on legibility.  I need to make the font bigger and come up with a way to identify waypoints, it was a bit hard to read when the spray was flying!

The actual track shows that I still have a lot to learn about steering in tidal currents.

Screen Shot 2017-06-11 at 1.30.30 PM.png

The first part of the row was slow and careful as I tried to pick my way between the shoals at low tide.  It wasn’t as bad as last time, but my oar blades were smooshing into the bottom on a lot of strokes.

I basically rowed straight to the green can, and then turned north to toward the inner harbor.  This was delightful downwind rowing.  There was a little bit of chop, and it was on my stern quarter.  There were some nice surfs along the way.

I got to the end of the breakwater, turned, had a quick drink and started to row against the tide and wind.  The first leg, down to a red buoy (WP0004), was good.  The waves weren’t that big and I wasn’t really taking on much water.  After the Buoy, when I turned to WP0005, I was heading straight into the wind and the building seas.  The section from about 7km to 11km was the toughest, slowest, wettest and most challenging rowing of the day.

Once I had the next buoy in sight (WP0005), I turned to the south, and then the wind was on my bow quarter.  This was a bit easier and my pace picked up a bit.  But as I came out from behind Billingsgate Island, I started to experience the long rolling waves that had built up across all of Cape Cod Bay.  These were long period waves, probably 2 feet high, with smaller chop breaking them up a bit.  There was a definite pattern of a few big waves, then a lull, then some more big ones.  It got a bit hairy as I approached WP0006, my farthest objective.  The waves seemed to get steeper over the shallower water here.  I was rowing to a compass course until I was able to see the buoy I was rowing for and then I turned straight to it.  Here’s a little narrative about my objective from the Embassy Cruise Guide to New England.

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I was quite glad to finally get around the buoy, and luckily I did not set off any unexploded bombs.  Then I had a long ride back with the waves on my beam and the wind behind me.

This was a different type of challenge, but quite fun.  My heading was not far enough downwind to surf the waves.  The thing that took some experimenting was figuring out how to deal with radically different water heights beneath each oar.  I found it easier with a slightly higher stroke rate.

Heading back, I navigated fine to WP0010, but after that, I maintained the right compass course, but I think the incoming tide pushed me quite a bit off course.  I rowed the specified distance from WP0010 to WP0009, but when I looked around, I could find the buoy at all.  I tried with and without sunglasses, and completely stopped the boat.  Well, that’s not good.

By now, it was a couple of hours after low tide, so I decided to deviate from the planned course and cut the corner to go home.  I was getting pretty tired and I had been out for over 2 hours.  But this was some of the most fun rowing of the day.  The wind and waves were on my port stern quarter, and the wave frequency was long enough that I could surf the front of a wave about every third stroke that I took.  When I caught the wave right, the last 3 feet of the stern would be buried and there would be a great swooshing noise from the bow.  It took some creative rowing to try to keep the waves from slewing the boat around through the process.

I navigated by eye around the north side of the island and pushed hard as I finished the last leg to Kayak beach.  I could barely stand up when I got out of the boat, but I was grinning from ear to ear.

The pace and HR plot below shows how it was tough to row hard when I was going into the wind and waves.  It was easier to push when I was surfing.

bokeh_plot (65)

It was quite a workout.  nearly 2 hours of UT1.  Total time on the water was 160 minutes.

myimage (45)

Workout Summary - media/20170611-171639-Greg Smith 20170611 0844amo.csv


Below are pace and rate charts.  The one from on the left is from the speedcoach.  The one on the right from Crewnerd.  Speedcoach continues to have some trouble finding the stroke rate in rough seas.  But the pace information is a bit smoother.

Tomorrow:  Hopefully on the water in Newton.

M1 4 x 15′ / 4′ 7′ @ 5KP, 8′ @ MP 92.5% (172)


Sunday: The Maiden Voyage of Kanangra

Weather:  I launched right around 8am.  There was a little wind that was dying down.

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The more salient bit of data was the tides.  We are in a period of time called the King Tides.  These occur a few times a year when the moon is at perigee and also aligned with the sun (new moon of full moon).  If they happen around January 2nd, they are even bigger because the earth is at perihelion.  These tides were pretty damn big.

Here’s a view of the Lieutenant Island Tide calendar.

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The squiggle is the tide height.  The numbers above each peak is the time and height of the high tide.  The highest tide of the month was very early Saturday morning (12:46AM May 27th) and was a 13.0 tide.

Aside:  The faint line near the high tide points is the tide height where the water comes over the road to the island.  When these tides are very high, you are cut off for about 4 hours around high tide.

The low tides are correspondingly low.  I launch from a beach that has the best low tide access, but this particular low tide ended up causing me a comic 30 minutes of trying to find deep enough water to row in.

Here it is speeded up buy a factor of 30 to reduce the boredom factor.

Certainly an inauspicious was to start.

Once I got through that, I was able to really try out the new boat.  Here’s my course.

Screen Shot 2017-05-30 at 11.59.09 AM.png

This chart was made with some a navigation.  A program called GPSNavX which supports plotting course directly on navigation charts.  The GPS coordinates come from the speedcoach, exported to CSV using NK Link, then uploaded to rowsandall, then exported as TCX, then convert to GPX by TCXConverter, then loaded into GPSNavX.  Simple 😉

This part was “on foot”


The row up to Wellfleet was good fun.  There was some light wind was from the SSW, so the chop could build up more as I got further north.  The boat handles quartering waves very well and surfing directly downwind is rock solid and good fun.

I noticed that there were patches of floating reeds all over the place.  These float out of the salt marshes during very high tides.  They had the effect of turning this outing into something like a random bungee row.  I would be rowing along, pass through an area with some reeds and eventually notice that it was harder to keep the pace.  Then, I would stop, back the boat down, wiggle it a bit from side to side and see a big clump of reeds float up from the fin.

I turned and headed out to sea.  The wind basically stopped and there was very little chop.  I just tried to set a nice rhythm and take long easy strokes.  My HR monitor decided early in the row that it didn’t want to cooperate, so I didn’t have that feedback.  My guess is that most of the row was low UT1.

I passed over Smalley Bar, and I noticed the water got appreciably lighter as it got shallower.  At the shallowest, I could see the features on the bottom, but at least I didn’t need to get out and walk.

After that I noticed that my pace was getting mighty slow.  It eventually dawned on me that the tide had turned and was now coming in.  On the chart, you can see that I was in the deepest part of the channel for a while.

I got to Red Nun “6”, and decided to do another 2K to the south.  That would put me at about 20km for the whole outing.   The row to Green Can “5” was very slow because of the tide and I could see it flowing past.

Rowing into the tide, I was doing around a 3:30 pace.  After I turned, with the same effort, I was doing around 2:20.  I calculated out the current.


Here’s the pace and rate for the outing. The first 1000m were paddling, dragging and walking the boat.

Here’s a quick video showing a bit of the downwind with the waves, then me trying to row past the green buoy against the tide, and finally showing the process of getting the reeds off the fin.

Despite the initial challenges, I declare the voyage a success.  The boat is amazing.  It’s noticeably lighter to carry and much stiffer to row.  I can’t say much about how it does in bigger waves, but I suspect it will do better than the Alden.

Anybody want a “slightly used” Alden Star?