What is it about the combination of oar and sail that is just so sexy? The teamwork, leadership, and the drive to push harder, faster, farther with the power of the wind and the sweat of the crew - all of it combines to create a highly unique experience that is not for the faint of heart.
It's been several weeks since Monomoy No. 1 hit the water - she's been cleaned up and is waiting for a stint in static display land where we're hoping to recruit some fresh bodies to top up the operational crew to maximum strength. And so, in the interim and with the Winter construction season rapidly approaching, new projects coming on line and fresh initiative put into old ones, I want to throw a little inspiration back into the mix.
Around the world there are several other organizations who've found religion in boats and programs like ours. On the US West Coast, you can find plenty of organizations who utilize boats that should look quite familiar. Granted, they are primarily rowing, but it sure looks like fun to me!
I have to say, though that if you're looking for the epitome of bad assed-ness, you need to check out modern surf-boat rowing. Of course, the Aussies totally step up the whole mess by attempting it in bikinis and speedoes - but as I've always contended, to each thier own.
When you start talking about sailing AND rowing, you start finding organizations that go farther, stay out longer, and really start to combine familiar NHS elements to create some pure awesomeness of their own.
And of course, the pièce de résistance of sailing and rowing - the Atlantic Challenge. These 38-foot gigs are incredible, and really push the concepts that NHS strives to master and in the coolest of ways. The regular international races cover miles of open sea under oar and sail, racing in a one-design concept entirely based on mastery of age-old seamanship skill. And boy does that look like FUN!
Of course, NHS is a slightly different spin on all this, but all in all we have so much to learn from, to dream about and push toward - the possibilities in these and in our own unique sphere are infinitely exciting!