My manager from Irving, Texas is awesome.
His name is Matt Schenk and he has done an incredible job with the fleet and the facility since we sent him out almost a year ago to the Lone Star State. Matt came out to California this week to visit friends and we had to go out for a row.
We took turns rowing poppa and prova, yacking about whatever came to mind, and I pointed out some of the more unique homes and boats in Newport Harbor.
With the wind coming from it's usual direction in the west, our first leg of the trip was easy and seemingly effortless. Since we had no passengers and most of the day free, we rowed from the home dock in the north-west corner of the harbor all the way to the south end of Balboa Island near the mouth of the harbor. The first three miles we had the wind at our backs as we tucked in behind Harbor Island and Balboa Island. Cutting through the small canal that separates Balboa Island and Little Balboa Island was fun and relaxing, but I knew before we got a few boat lenghts away from the home dock, that the row back would be a fight.
Sure enough, once we turned the corner and faced the wind, we met the challenge head-on. Working our way along the south shore of Balboa Island, we nodded to fishermen on the docks and waved to motor boats as they passed by. Rowing in rhythm, we made our way up to the best place to cross over to the Pavillion - Newport's most recognized landmark. We enjoyed a slight break from the wind in the shadow of the peninsula. Next we squeezed between Bay Island and the peninsula, and then it was back into the wind as we crossed the mooring field to the tip of Lido Island. I had expected to find a wind-shadow on the inland side of Lido, it had been there on the way out, but Murphy's Law came into play and we fought the wind some more, completing our loop and arriving back at the home dock.
This was the first time Matt and I had rowed together since our expedition in Shreveport, Louisiana - another "windfight".
I wouldn't have enjoyed struggling against the wind on my own, but with two guys it was downright fun, rising to the challenge and beating it - both today and back in Shreveport.
Good rowing with you Matt!