Power Strokes

Chrissy McLeanAll, Bravo Team, Youth Programs

Today was a calm and warm-ish day for December in Port Townsend. We took the opportunity to plan a mini-adventure and rowed Townshend down to Indian Point, which is just past the ferry dock.

We had some distance to cover so we needed to work on our rowing skills- staying in rhythm and doing some power strokes. In the longboat world, a power stroke is a concentrated effort- we don’t try to increase our cadence, but rather increase our effort, and we stay in time by yelling our counts aloud. We started off with about 20 power strokes, but decided to challenge ourselves to 100 power strokes! Then when we got to 100 we decided to do 100 more by counting backwards. It was fun to really get the boat moving and to be warm on a winter day.

One of our crew needed to leave early, so we decided to drop him off at the Boat Haven near his bus stop. It was fun to enter a new marina and get some docking practice in.

As we turned around for home, we weren’t exactly sure where the ferry was so we did a few more power strokes just to make it past the ferry dock. Then we relaxed, and drifted with the current along the waterfront in our shared Moment of Silence. We noticed how quiet our lapstrake hull was in the glassy calm water, the sounds of the wintering birds on the bay, the winter light on the houses of our town, and how we could be warm outside on a winter day. It was a perfect mini-adventure.