Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Learning to Feather



According to Tom, my rowing style is appalling. I zig zag, and I windmill my oars. "We'll never get there," he groans.

His brother Dave, a real fisherman, told me he "learned to row from masters at rowing, and they always feathered their oars.  I deplore windmilling, and whenever I see one I think to myself, 'There goes a rank amateur'."

For those who don't know what feathering is, it's a slight flick of the wrist, when the oars are out of the water on the forward stroke, that turns the paddles of the oars parallel to the water, so that they can skim back over the water into dipping position. It's quite lovely, but, in my opinion, totally unnecessary. As far as I'm concerned, you row to get from point A to point B without getting run over by, or hitting or destroying other boats in the anchorage.

In the name of tradition however, and at the risk of being called a "rank amateur," I will learn to feather. I will thrash around until I get it right. Besides, it's good exercise.

The most entertaining part of this learning process by far will be, not me out there humiliating myself. I could care less. It will be listening to Tom bellow instructions from the bow of the claudia II. About ten seconds in to the session, he will turn, totally exasperated, and go below pretending not to know who I am! I'll just keep circling around the boat anyway. It will be pure entertainment!

The dinghy at the bottom of the sketch above is our Puffin dinghy tied to JO Brown's dock in North Haven.

Learning to Feather • 8" X 8" acrylic framed to 12" X 12" • $200