Strong currents have ruled this past week. On Saturday, a major ebb tide kept Stefan and me from venturing out under the Gate for fear we'd never return.
But that didn't mean there wasn't plenty of excitement swirling around us as we turned just before the north tower, digging in our oars to avoid being swept out to sea. Fishing boats zoomed past. And large logs, dinner-plate-sized jellyfish, and random bits of flotsam and jetsam floated by while bright orange starfish clung to slick, black rocks, their cover blown by the low tide.
Seeking a little solace, I went for a flat-water row on Sunday. Alas, the water was anything but flat. A headwind howled down the channel and whitecaps danced a crazy jig, sending small tsunamis over the riggers and into the boat. I joked to my rowing partner that this was nothing, "Just a Viking row. Polish the horns on your helmet and let's go."
And we did, just like those boats that Fitzgerald writes about, beating against the current, matching strokes, traveling backwards, collecting memories, images, and stories – as rowers do.