Free Floating Out on the Bay

Photo of an oar blade at the release

The first row each year always has a special feel to it. Here in the Northeast of the United States, we are often off the water for the entire Winter due to ice and cold weather. So come each Spring, as the bay thaws, I truly look forward to that first row on the bay.

Last night I finally got back out in a single on Oyster Bay. I just enjoy the whole process. Chatting with the other scullers at the boathouse. Carrying the shell down to the beach to wet launch. Wearing boots to keep my feet dry in the early Spring. But what I enjoy most are those first few strokes after launching.

The shell glides away from the beach and I begin to refamiliarize myself with the feel of the oars, the blades in the water, and the wonderful glide of the shell. Early Spring rows are often so quiet with little to no boat traffic on the water. Last night was one of those magical first rows where the shell felt great, the water was calm, and it just felt terrific to be free floating out on the bay.

By Mike Wagner

Mike began rowing in 1992 during his freshman year at Hofstra University. He learned to scull the following summer at the Sagamore Rowing Association. Mike worked with the Joy of Sculling as the Program Manager for the Coaching Conferences from 2013-2019. He continues to actively scull and coach both at Sagamore and at the Craftsbury Outdoors Center in Vermont.

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