My quad in Durban!
I have never figured out how to combine my crazy travel schedule with rowing in other countries, but this morning it all came together in a mixed 4x in Durban, South Africa. Mark Burgess, the president of the Durban Rowing Club, responded to my email, and said "Yes! Please come and row!"
Almost as far away as you can get from Boston, in the middle of a dark, chilly winter (it was 93 degrees in Boston), we launch in the very beginnings of dawn onto an active harbor. Rowing around 3 meter high bouys that guide tugboats pushing fully loaded ocean liners, and then darting around those looming liners and building-high stacks of shipping crates was a surreal experience. I work to match up with the person in front of me while my starboard oar washes out with a gunwale high wave. This isn't the Charles River!
About half-way into our row, we pause in a glassy section and watch as the flaming ball of sun rises over the horizon. We rowers, from opposite hemispheres of this planet, share the moment in silence, then spin and head back through the wide open harbor, turning into tugboat wakes, and pull hard against the tidal current.
As we return to the dock, Mark says "What a great row. Come back tomorrow for an 8+!"
I grin happily. "Of course!"