The alarm rang too soon. Fortunately, I’d prepared coffee the night before and sleepily pushed the button. While it perked, I checked Facebook for any messages that for some reason we wouldn’t be rowing this morning.
There were none.
At exactly 5:30 A.M., having consumed one-and-a-half cups of coffee, we launched. My daughter and I were back on the water in our double rowing shell for the first time since forever.
In another lifetime we rowed something like 128 nautical miles together. Given our four-mile workouts, completed well before 8 A.M., that’s 32 excursions down to the end of Little American Lake and back.
Charted here on a map of Puget Sound where, caught in the reflection is our cabin on Silcox Island, those same miles, shown by the red line, would have taken us from Steilacoom, under the Narrows Bridge, past Vashon Island, to Seattle, straight up to Whidbey Island and over to Port Townsend, another straight shot to Orcas Island and around the uppermost reaches of the San Juan Islands to begin the journey home.
Today we added four more miles.
An eagle gave us a head start but went on by.
Not a ripple. Not a wake. Not a breath of a breeze.
Just the rhythmic whisper of oars in the water, skipping now and then on recovery, the shoreline – sometimes within an oar length – the rocky bottom in the crystal-clear water visible below us, sliding by.
We’ve the blisters already and aching muscles to prove where we’ve been.
But oh, what a morning.