Monday, September 29, 2008

Salmon Row and Paddle V-12 (photos by Peter Dederich)

"Uh oh! Uncle Butch, we're short one paddler!"
"Trevor, do you want in?"
"Okay...Connor, you want in?" Connor is standing under his father Peter who is snapping this picture at the very moment we all turn to see whether he'll say yes.
"Who, ME?????"

Ok, folks. Let's get in. We're outa' time. This is Sound Rowers, by God, and we know how to start a race on time!!! (Guess who said that...yes, it was Steve Bennett.)

Martha: "What do you want me to do?"
Whole team in unison: "STEER!"
(Notice her brave child Connor Dederich seizing the opportunity to be the youngest San Juan Islander to paddle a distance race.)

Around Lake Samish and here we come! Finish!
L to R: Dan Seaton, Christine Davis, Denyse Davis, Sandy Kuala, Amy Harold, Bonnie Stanger, Steve Bennett, Becky Volk, Connor Dederich, Butch Calivo, Martha Isbister, and Hal Lavinsky, all ready to eat the delicious Salmon BBQ!! If you could only see Becky's face--she was SOOO happy!! We all were.

PS. Budd Inlet pictures are here. Congratulations to David Halpern and Dan Seaton for finishing 1st and 2nd!!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Hatless Confidence

My favorite paddling experience, bar none, is when canoes fight neck and neck, in the thick of deciding who will dominate. How I love bumping and near-misses, pitching against the rhythm of competitors' breath. I cherish their call and response as if it were coming from my own canoe. Their blood pulses with determination that matches ours every time we bring it up another notch. Thrill drives collective effort, effort drives individual abandon, and then comes the Universe: splashing cold salt water lit in silver speed high enough to taste.

Or is it the triumph in the eyes of someone who finished what they were never before brave enough to start? Facing the morbid dread on race morning together, hauling canoes to the shore, rubbing the sunscreen in hard to reach places, finding that last piece of advice, we prepare one another somehow for a physical experience that will demand more than we have. The green flag lifts, we labor, we cross the finish freshly born. Stronger.

Or is it the dreams? People from all walks of life (even the venues where I am weakest) standing on the starting line, cheering. So many people I know rooting for me. I sleep while they applaud. I wake up with their excitement new in my mind.

Here's three cheers to Martha Isbister who paddled 12 miles at breakneck speed for the first time ever. Here's to Bonnie Stanger who brought her 20 year-old paddle down out of the attic for yet another marvelous chance.
Here's to Dan Seaton whose every faithful stroke I tried my best to echo! Here's to Jose Domenech who didn't make it and was sorely missed. Here's to Dave Halpern who said he would have to quit coaching if we beat him. Ooops. Here's to Butch and Mary Calivo for being the Mother and Father. Here's to Stanley and Teresa Otsubo who take care of the canoes 24/7. Here's to Uncle Ray for the chili, and Joyce for the sushi. And here's to EVERYBODY for the work and the love.

PS. Wouldn't it be nice to have photos of sunny Mukilteo?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Hat Race

This is the crew from last year. Have you ever seen a happier bunch? There was a bulldog that ran under the boat just as this picture was taken. Remember that? We all laughed while the owner apologized. Tell Marty Robinson, Katie and Kenny Askew, and John Pachuta that it won't be the same without them! In fact, we might just have to go hatless Saturday.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Popcorn & a Movie

Scroll down and turn off the blog music in the red box before you watch this Youtube video...unless your brain is like my husband's. (just kidding)

When you get to minute 1:05, you'll see mighty PNW Autumn Rose racing by in their white and turquoise jerseys. These girls are all under 16 years old! Then, at about 1:24, you'll see the PNW Senior Masters walking by with Sabine Jessel in front, leading them to the staging area for their next race. At 3:10, you'll get a glimpse of some v-12s.

Quite a few of you have asked, "When are we going to watch the video from Worlds?" Friday Sept 5th at 7pm right after the FHES Principal's Ice Cream Social. Drop in. Drink cammomile tea or coffee, whichever works for you.

For nice Tahitian music and photos, click here.

Ask me, "What is haka?" (I'd love to tell the story...)