The weather on the South Coast of England was fabulous today, and I went out at Emsworth with the Dinghy Cruising Association.
It is difficult to judge how to row with a bunch of sailors. Arrive too early, and you are on the water before the sailors have got their boat covers off. A brisk paddle and you are ready to get out and go the pub, whereas the sailors are only half way out.
So I got to the slipway two hours after the time, to find the last boats leaving. The weather was delightfully calm so I got a good bit of speed up, but even starting late I was ready for lunch before anyone else.We met to eat on Fowley Island, an artificial lagoon off Emsworth apparently built for the oyster industry. Afterwards I rowed manfully down channel and was just congratulating myself on the speed I was maintaining when I glanced against a post, caught up on the rigger and propelled myself straight on my back. How embarrassing. Haven't done that for years. Paddled cautiously back to the slipway, arriving second.So the secret seems to be to arrive late and go early, with a superior feeling of having got much more exercise than anybody else. But it may be even better to invest in a boat with a bit of beam and a small downwind sail, to allow breaks from work and let everyone else catch up.