In January we had the NYS Safe Boating Certification Course with Pier 40 Rowing Founder Brendan Malone volunteering his time to teach the course and Mary Nell Hawk providing the warm space with BMCC Rowing Club. The following rowers/coxswains attended and were certified: Rene Moreno, Brian Tong, Anthony Liang, Tommy Tang, Dexter Tong, Curtis Bezault, Dave Tan, Hans Minnich, John Volker, Karl Schuman, Peter Wellings, Maria Kovalev, Jack Eaton, Lin Luo, Ting Ting Qiu, Stephina Fisher, Andre Knights, Yongxing Lin, Junjie Chi, Paul Tropea, Katherine Winkleman and Joe Harrod.
The rowing season started off early with good warm weather in March. Harbor School beat everyone onto the water. BMCC followed up with the first long row to the Statue and back. With the rain every Tuesday and Thursday, Satellite Academy hardly got out. Stuyvesant was able to get onto the water first week of April.
On Memorial Day we had Coxswain Training where VCB volunteers Mike Anton,Tony Rentschler, Mary Nell Hawk, Karl Schuman were assisted by Chastity Bowman, Joe Fung, Oscar Cheung, Tommy Tang, David Tan, Sean Chowhury and Curtis Bezault. The following attended the training: Danny Kerman and Doug Cortese from CAS; Michael Salgado, Chasis Rivas and Waleska Montilla from Harbor School; Jackie Pellicano and Mara Haseltine from Lang/New School; Cindy Love and Jack Eaton from BMCC; Govin Baichin and Demetri Vaughn from Rocking the Boat; Jonathan Chu,Michael Zheng, Natan Zamansky, Allan Park, Shanshan Chen, Steven Chen, Benson Qiu and Shegjie Ji from Stuyvesant; Neil Calore from Philadelphia; Helen Ng and Kevin Sims from Community Rowing. It seemed like every kayaker wanted to rescue the throwable PFD used to simulate the person overboard. Tthe heat of the sun beat down on everyone quickly alternating between rowing, backwatering and holding. The BBQ staff of Batman, Constantine, Jenny and Margaret, Pablo, Olga, Walter, Frank, Sally and Dave C. helped set up. A Risk and Stratego game broke out and Hans organized a community row with Eric B. Nachem came with kosher hot dogs. We missed Henry who is still out of town working.
If you haven’t noticed we instituted a new sign-in book procedure whereas official voting members of the boathouse should write “member” next to their names while non-voting members/ visitors should continue to include their phone/address or e-mail. Voting members please pay your dues for the year. You can place your payment into an envelope and drop into the donation barrel.
Damage to the boats and equipment: This last Sunday at the beginning of the Community Row I noticed that Storm Queen had a fresh new gash on 2nd plank down from the bow deck on the starboard side as we were placing the boat into the water. Later I noticed that the #3 bench on Bird was bent and damaged. Coxswains should report damage to the coordinator of the day so we can fix the damage and learn how it occurred. That way we can prevent future damage with information. Please respect the boats and equipment and report the damage.
The most common preventable damage is when the flag poles snap when coming in contact with the underside of the pier. Please do not deploy the flags until you are away from the pier and remove them before landing. The benches may be damaged when the mushroom anchor weight gets caught under the bench when raising it up. Oars may be damaged when the blade end is used to fend off. Use the butt end of the oar to push off. Before landing have dockside oars loosen their rings for quick removal or perhaps test them by asking them to toss the oar before initiating landing process. Avoid sharp corners of docks that could puncture the planking of a boat. Distractions (Talking on the phone, texting, ect..) and inattention contribute to damage and invite safety hazards. It’s usually not one single factor that leads to damage, serious injury and falls into the water. There are always new people rowing and helping that might not know of the dangers and preventative measures. Please reiterate and point out possible hazards. It would go along way in preventing damage and enhancing safety.
Ferry Intelligence: There is more frequent service at the Water Taxi stop at Pier 45- the Christopher Street Pier- the one with the gazebo. The Water Taxi approaches from the north and docks on the south side of the pier west corner and continues south afterwards. Boats resting in the cove should be aware of the ferry route and identify their dock and plan to move out from their path if the Water Taxi suddenly appears. There is a ferry either arriving or departing every 5-10 minutes during evening rush hour. At the World Financial Center, ferries coming from the north landing at the World Financial Center dock often come close to the bulk head line and hug it from Pier26 down. Rowing boats heading to/from the cove at Stuyvesant HS should try not to be out too far in their lanes of
Although we had an accident last Tuesday, do not hesitate to come down and row. Our peak weeks are coming up and all hands are requested.