Just got back from Spring Training in Tampa.

I dream of boats.

This week I coxed the mens novice eight. More of a challenge than the varsity, and you don't feel the boat move under you as much, but it's there, the potential.(fresh souls..)

In the morning, we launched at 5 AM, sliding the 8 through the blue-green water reflecting all of the lights of downtown Tampa. The reflections were so sharp it was as if we were suspended, cutting through the bridges and emerging in some sort of a sphere, encompassed by the brightening horizon in the sky and in the bay.

Morning, later morning, afternoon, and land training started to run together punctuated by eat sleep and shower I started to dream of boats. In my hotel room I'd fall asleep and feel the bed swimming beneath me and think "down to port" or "starboards, raise your hands" and run through sprint starts in my head. three quarters, half, half, three quarters, full, high 10, settle 10 to a 32...ok, first 500-- this is our move for the leg drive. I want bow in 10...

And when I got up again it was all the same. I'd stand up, carefully balanced, in the stern of our 18-inch wide 60-foot long boat, explain the drills. Focus on catching together at high ratings-- remember, arms and body quick out of the bow. I'd sit down, (all eight, sit ready at the finish-- ready, row) and we'd row, and keep going.

Most crews train in Tampa during the spring or Melbourne. Coast Guard Academy, Yale, University of North Carolina and others were there-- we raced the UNC men in a head race, I cut them off with the inside turn(prepare to clash oars-- we're rowing through them!). Yale.... the Yale men had ratio. If you know what I mean.(rowing pun)

And the vandalism. Painting the bridge is a rowing tradition. For anybody who's been to Boston, the banks of the Charles are a good example. This spring, Michigan dominated by painting the 50' x 50' counterweight on the raised railroad bridge downstream from the boathouse with a huge 'M', yellow with a blue background.. But on Thursday night at midnight, we took Princeton's bridge. Stole a launch, whipped out the rapelling equipment, and 8 gallons of purple and white paint.

Violent Crew
Novice 2001-- Pulling Together

Which started off as 'Pulling Togeter' but was quickly corrected. Were not distracted by drunken heavyweight UNC men jumping off of bridges. Finished that at 4:30, changed, and went to practice.

Now back in New York, to the cold, dirty East River.