Today I was invited by my friend to go out with the Dragon Hearts OB rowing club. We were using a band new outboard canoe and were a group of 6 (4 men, 2 women to be precise) with an extra person for steering the boat. We left from Creekside Community Centre opposite Telus Science World and made our way up False Creek towards Stanley Park. I was the honorary newbie in the boat and everyone was very welcoming.
We set off at a leisurely pace to get used to the boat; we were the first group to take her out on the water, ever. After setting off it became clear how important a good rhythm is to keep you all headed in the right direction at maximum speed – it makes sense why Dragon Boats have drums to keep the pace, it would have certainly helped. I did not have a natural rhythm. It didn’t help that I wanted to do long strokes dragging from the front to the back but you’re actually supposed to do shorter strokes which felt totally counterintuitive to me.
Along the way we stopped a few times to catch our breath and admire the views. Aside from going up False Creek on a Sea Taxi when it was belting it down with rain, I’ve not been on the water in this area when I can actually see what’s going on around me. Thankfully the conditions were really calm this morning aside from the spray from me mis-stroking my paddle. The guy in front of me got a good shower at various times as I totally messed up my stroke.
In the end we went out as far as English Bay, passing under Granville Bridge and Burrard Bridge, before making our way past Sunset Beach. There was a reasonable amount of traffic on the water this morning but nothing too horrendous that we couldn’t negotiate. For the few breaks we did take here are some of the photos I managed to get: