Newburgh Waterfront. 7:10 a.m. 70 degrees. Pleasant but you can feel the heat building. Friday dropped Mrs M off at the ferry so she could catch the train at Beacon and saw that a tall ship was docked among the speedboats and cabin cruisers at the marina. Didn't have time to investigate but went down this morning to see what it was, thinking, probably one of the two replicas that ply this stretch of the Hudson, the Half Moon and the Onrust, both of which visit here regularly. Whichever it was, it was gone. No tall ships in view but there was a type of craft I haven't often seen along here. A rowing scull.
Not really a surprise. The colleges nearby, upriver and down, which include Marist, Vassar, and Bard have crew teams. Probably some high schools and prep schools do too. This was a four man boat---or four women. Couldn't tell. The rowers were silhouetted in the glare off the water.
The scull was accompanied by a small speedboat with a coach standing up behind the pilot, both of them also hard to make out in the glare. The boats were drifting, the rowers leaning on their oars and listening to the coach whom I couldn't really but whose voice I "heard" anyway, probably because I knew it was there to be heard. When the coach finished, the rowers grabbed their oars and pulled and the scull shot away, headed north towards the bridge. The speedboat held steady for a count of ten and then motored after the scull, catching up with it about a quarter mile upriver where it was waiting, the crew having been apparently told how far to go.
I moved up along the waterfront to the parking lot of the Blu Pointe seafood restaurant, hoping to get a photo and found a good spot but the glare was still too blinding. But now I could really hear the coach's voice, although I couldn't make out his voice, and he was a he. The rowers were still silhouetted but they looked big, a lot bigger than I think women rowers are. My friend who rowed for the women's crew at BU was five-eight and although not nearly the tallest on the team there were only a few taller and the tallest was barely six feet. But who knows. They're building them all bigger these days, men and women.
That's the whole of this story. I know. A Thomas Eakins in words I'm not. The coach finished talking and the crew set to work again. The scull took off and I ran out of room to chase after them anymore. But if I could have, I might have followed them the whole nine miles upriver to Poughkeepsie if that's how far they were going, it was that thrilling to watch and that pleasant to be be outside and if not on the water then at least by it.