Every row is different; every day is different. This morning we (my rowing partner Stefan and I) made our way out to the Golden Gate Bridge under a crescent moon with a lone star hovering beneath it. As we headed back, a flotilla of pelicans gave us an escort, flying just above the water by our boat, and the rising sun peeked up over Alcatraz as we took our final strokes down the Sausalito channel. By 7:20, we were washing our boat and done for the day – at least the best part of the day.
People have asked me what rowing in the dark is like and all I can say is that it's magical. No noise. No people. And almost always, no other boat traffic. Some pre-dawn mornings our oars leave a little trail of phosphorescence. Other mornings we see shooting stars. If it's a clear day, we're often treated to the most incredible unfolding of color as the rising sun turns the inky waters into a swirling canvas of pink, purple, gold, and peach. There's nothing like it, it's never the same, and it never fails to work its magic on me.