What is expedition rowing?

Expedition rowing can be done as part of an organised event, or it can be a private trip. Generally, it takes at least the best part of a day and is on a piece of water you don't usually row on. But crucially, you get a sense of achievement just by completing it. 


  1. Hi,
    Let me introduce myself: my name is Peter and a new follower of your cheerful blog. Very glad to find you, only wish I was closer to join in the fun... but regretfully far far away in the USA. Anyway, some clarification please: how far need a row be to qualify as expeditionary, as you see it? Single or multiple the same rule? Fixed seat or sliding?
    Thanks & cheers!

    1. Hi Peter, I'm SO delighted that I have a reader in the US! My definition of expedition rowing (above) deliberately doesn't specify a distance or a particular seat type (my skiffing expeditions are fixed seat, the others are sliding). Or the number of breaks you take during the course of the row.

      This one http://expeditionrowing.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/going-just-some-of-wey-mini-expedition.html for example, counted as an expedition for me as it took most of the day and was on water I don't usually row on. It wasn't very far, but it was a HUGE achievement for one of the party who hadn't rowed much.

      However, the Dutch long-distance rowing community have a trophy each year for the rower who has rowed the greatest number of kilometers as part of organised, long-distance rowing events, and their definition of "long distance" is 50km.

      What water do you row on, Peter? A river, or a lake, perhaps? Any scope for organising an expedition for your clubmates or friends from other clubs there?

  2. Hi Helena, I row mostly around Raritan Bay, near where I live here in NYC. Also some Hudson & other rivers & ocean inlets. Single, fixed seat traditional skiff with a bit of freeboard to help keep me out of trouble from spooky waves and spookier yahoos & their motorboat wakes...
    As for others who might like a bit of an expedition, pretty sure I'm the only one I've ever seen in all my miles of rowing about... kayakers & the occasional curious seal, yes. But I've thought about it. We do have a few big races here in the NorthEast (the 20 mile Blackburn Challenge comes to mind) but not that many. And usually aways away... further north in New England offers more beautiful waters, landscape, islands and opportunities. The Sulvaka or a coastal row in the UK sounds great, as does a few days down a long wide river, perhaps camping overnight along 'hospitable' shores... something about which you folks in the UK are far more enlightened.

    1. Those sound like potentially very challenging pieces of water! I'm with you entirely about having a bit more freeboard (our Thames Skiffs are like that) - which mean that a bit of wash doesn't ruin an outing.

      Is your water good enough that people would come to YOU to row on your water if you organised something?

      I have a poor grasp of norther American distances, but wonder if you've come across the Ontario Adventure Rowing gang http://adventurerowing.ca/ - I really like the sound of their activities (and scenery).

      As far as I can tell,m the Germans and the dutch are the absolute best at welcoming touring rowers to their clubs, but I'm hoping to contribute to developing this in the UK with my new venture www.paddleducksrowing.co.uk

  3. Hello Helena, my son and I just joined a rowing club, we live in Buenos Aires, Argentina and I'm so exited with this activity. Regards Gerardo