In Praise of Rowboats


June 17, 2021 – The humble rowboat … simple, useful, and underrated.

We have many types of watercraft at Camp Many Moons, but my go-to is the rowboat. This one is a “Jon boat,” supposedly nick-named that by Scandinavian fishermen. Flat-bottomed and square-bowed, it is stable and light-weight. This makes it easy to launch and easy to row.

I take it out almost daily, usually accompanied by Roscoe the Husky. I like the upper-body exercise and he likes the views. I row-like-mad to the other side of the bay and then we float quietly in the shallows, watching the water birds, until it’s time to row-like-mad back again.

Exercise and peace, in a single outing! (I’ve always been a multi-tasker.)

It has other uses, too. Jeff uses it to retrieve floating logs or “deadheads” from the bay. I fish from it sometimes — so far without success, but summer is just beginning.

Engines have their place but there’s nothing quite like self-propulsion. “Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily! Life is but a dream!”

Indeed.

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