Another top and tail working Sunday.
But not for long.
The 8am work shift was put to bed. Out went the shout of:
“To the boat!”
— WivGigs Rowing Club (@Wivgigs) 20 October 2018
I missed what looked like an atmospheric row at 8am on Saturday. The mist was rolling in from the Colne with Audacity cutting a path through the Estuary.
Our 9:15am launch on Sunday was spectacular, albeit with the mist having lifted.
We waited by the Sailing Club hard for a short while as some of the club members gave a re-birth to an old yacht that had been donated.
Less than five minutes later and they were scrambling back up the hard with incoming water.
The launch of the good gig Audacity was greeted with a fly past by a couple of swans. They set a fair pace for us to follow.
We were carrying a spare crew member. I opted to sit it out on the stern until we reached Rowhedge.
I played close attention to the superior style of the more experienced crew members. I realised that it is all about the rhythm of the rollocks as they connect in unison with the oars. It was a rather hypnotic way to start the day.
The muddy waters of the Colne was a real soup affair for Sunday.
Brockwell folk often ask me why I don’t embrace estuary swimming as I live on an estuary.
The STENCH of the raw sewage floating downstream from the Hythe is your answer, Comrades.
Poo. Wot a Stinker, etc.
We did a turnaround and then moored back at Rowhedge. It was quite an occasion with the Rowhedge Coastal Rowing Club launching their new Cornish gig.
A team from the Thames had travelled out to give the Essex boys and girls some friendly racing.
Valkyrie looked amazing. The main difference between a Colne gig and the Cornish variety is two extra pairs of hands.
It looked a little tricky cutting some of the corners around the muddy banks of the Colne. We remained on land to watch the first race – a narrow win for Valkyrie in her first race.
With the winter race season starting soon, attention turned to tactics for Audacity. We rowed a little further past Rowhedge, and then focussed on cold starts and turns.
Concentration was diverted momentarily when a plane performed a series of rolls and turns for us up above.
This was edge of the seat stuff – I shifted my foot rest so that I could get the maximum reach with my rowing movement.
Time and tide was calling; the water was ebbing and we had to be back in Wivenhoe.
We moored at the Sailing Club to hear tales of the spotting of the seal once again. We were too busy focussing on all that starting and turning technique.
I was a mucky pup.
Which must mean that it was time to tackle the garden before I slipped into my Sunday Best.
*I don’t have a Sunday best…
I swept up the leaves along the side passage once again.
A large rat appeared in my sight line from behind.
It was Madam Dotty.
Whoops. Sorry, luv.
The dismantling of the summer garden started. I did a random SNIP of all things that looked long past their best.
I uncovered the final courgette of the season.
It was a bit of a limp effort.
The windows were given a brief clean whilst the Estuary rays were shining down.
I disappeared along the Trail late afternoon for a gym session and a swim.
There were more MTB-ers riding the Trail than there were walkers.
I clocked a couple of Cormorants down by the Hythe. I thought that there was only one. This was a hippy shit magic moment of ornithological awakening.
The swim was half decent given that I was knackered.
Forty lengths were put in. I then struggled to climb out of the pool in the manner that ageing middle-aged plodding swimmers tend to.
I have become a middle-aged plodding swimmer.
There was enough light to cycle back along the Trail. The University towers looked commanding with the sun setting from behind.
Three weeks into the new term and I wonder how the tower freshers are getting along?
Been there, done that etc.
I’d rather not do it again, thank you very much.
Back at base I managed to publish the school work from Thursday and Friday.
Our Boiler Man should be starting in the morning. I spent a little time preparing some space for him.
And then the tail end work shift to close the weekend.