Rowing a Little Boat

I finished my mainsail cover a couple of days ago, so this morning I let myself out to play for a bit. As soon as it was light I put on sunscreen, grabbed a big hat, and took the dinghy out for a row. The first time I did that, I went across the anchorage to the Mogote (the peninsula across the ensenada from La Paz). That was fun, I’d never been over there. Saw a lot of fish; I need to get some fishing tackle. Didn’t think to put on sunscreen and got cooked.

The dinghy is only 8 feet long, and the oars are seven. Unless I’m very careful, she wants to go in a circle with that kind of leverage. Today was the third time I’ve rowed a boat–the first was when we took our homemade jonboat out to Lake Darling. The second was that first time here, described above; the third was this morning. So I’m pretty sure I lack technique, and YouTube offers surprisingly little help, presumably because few people row their dinghies. Anyway, it’s one of those things where I think I’m getting better and then I find myself going in circles again.

Today I went parallel to the malecón. It was lovely going out, the sun just starting to hit the hills across the bay, calm water, not a cloud to be seen. I just dawdled along, making for the Jacques Cousteau statue to see if Jojo’s Café would be open. It was, so I pulled the dinghy up on the beach. Had a latte and chilaquiles and watched the sidewalk traffic. Big triathlon this weekend, lots of people out walking and jogging before the race.

The tide was going out so there was a noticeable current to row against on the way home. I think it’s about a 4.5km round trip. I don’t feel particularly tired but I think it was decent exercise. Lots of pangas zipping past on the way back, which got pretty annoying pretty quickly–it’s hard to keep both oars in the water when you’re bobbing on a panga wake.

After that trip, I’ve decided that rowing that particular craft is not what I would call recreational. It beats motoring because it’s quiet and slow, but the tracking is so twitchy, and it gets old looking backwards most of the time. So now I’m thinking of picking up an inflatable kayak next month.

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