|The view from the boathouse|
It was a bit optimistic asking them to warm up in pairs 'arms only, body lean, quarter-slide' etc. Feeling the flow of the river I swiftly called for full slide and asked for a bit of a squeeze to get us through the arch of the railway bridge where the venturi effect was evident. Rounding the corner to St Peter's Straight, the onslaught eased a little and we made reasonable progress upriver until we reached the turning point before the next bridge. Spinning the boat was a doddle: just paddling a bit on bow allowed the current to drift the boat round and we easied (well actually, we didn't, we had to keep backing down slightly to remain 'stationary') as the coach shouted out instructions to me. Start rowing, then stern pair (the slightly more experienced pair) to square blades, then back to feather, then bow-pair (including the new boy) to do the same. It was the usual rocky old business, although I did (briefly) get all four on to square blades . Spinning the boat for the upriver leg by the boathouse wasn't easy: we had to turn earlier than we would normally and even then there was a bit of a hairy moment when we drifted slightly sideways nearly under Lendal bridge.
Another circuit, same stuff. The new boy coped, and kept up, remarkably well given that everything in a quad scull happens much faster than in the single tracers that theclub normally starts them off in. As they were true lightweights, and the river was high, their session was a bit shorter than the normal one-and-a-half hour's stint. Landing the boat was rather tricky too - I couldn't quite see where the edge of the tow-path was, and not wanting to damage anything, had to shout to a rower in wellies for directions. I was a bit worried about plunging off the invisible edge of the path on getting out too!
All safely landed, I had to co-opt the Husband to help carry the boat up the steps and, after washing it, help slot it back into its rack. The little guy at bow just wasn't tall enough to be able to half-turn it without dragging the gates on the floor. Aww! My feet, which had just got wet again were freezing - I felt that I'd never deserved a steaming latte and sticky-toffee muffin as much.....