Monday, 5 December 2011

Rowing the Atlantic: When you need to be a Tiger

If you hang around long enough with ocean rowers, and find that you've developed a taste for expedition rowing (albeit in events you can fit into a weekend), sooner or  later you're going to come to the conclusion that, if your piggy bank can cope, there's really no good reason NOT to row an ocean yourself.

And so it was that my husband and I set off from the Canary Islands in our tiger-striped boat, and landed in Barbados nearly 11 weeks later. Along the way, we'd lost a rudder, been brought another, seen dolphins for 30 seconds, enjoyed eating biltong in bed (only one of us), listened to all seven Harry Potter books, and been reminded almost every day that ocean rowing is much more about the ocean than it is about rowing.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Meander 2011 (Part 2): Ending with a fizz

Day 2 of our "meander" by skiff from Lechlade to Teddington (you can read the story so far here) saw our little flotilla of six boats taking to the water at 6am. Which was a bit grim, but also extremely beautiful. 

Our first lock of the day was Abingdon, and once out of that we rewarded with the iconic sight of Didcot Power Station's cooling towers looming above the reeds in the distance. 

Friday, 22 April 2011

Meander 2011 (Part 1): From tadpole to opera

Many, many rowers, myself included, row regularly on one of the 45 stretches of the Thames between locks. We often race on another two or three. 

But that leaves an awful lot of Britain's most famous river left to explore, which was one of the best bits of this 135 mile skiffing tour from Lechlade to Teddington over an Easter weekend.

There were also chocolate eggs, history lessons and a Handel aria in an unexpected place.