What do you do when you're balancing atop a sliver of carbon fiber on the San Francisco Bay and a container ship roughly the size of a city block roars by? If you're like me, you panic a little, and then you angle the boat just so, sit up, and row. Change the ratio; use use the legs. Short, punchy strokes. No looking down. No hesitation.
Fortunately, I have Stefan in the boat with me and more than a few years on the San Francisco Bay under my belt. The tanker you see in the photo above zoomed past us at about 20+ knots. Our rowing shell rose and fell, splashed and surfed through its mighty wake, and we made it back under the Gate just in time for my husband Jay, who was riding his bike in the Marin Headlands that morning, to grab a shot.
The photo below shows his view of the tanker as it came under the bridge. If you get a magnifying glass, you can barely see us, looking like tiny ants surfing a tsunami, riding the wake and surfing the swells just fine.