I had posted my itinerary on the Masters Rowing International Facebook group and the Atlanta Rowing Club responded. So for 8am (very civilized time) on Sunday I was up for a row with their Masters rowers on the Chattahoochee river. 

I left from the hotel at 7:20 for a 30 minute drive. Of course I wanted to be smarter than the GPS, so instead of taking the I-285 as the GPS suggested, I continued on I-75 to the Roswell exit. So I had to drive back about 8 miles over a road with traffic lights and I arrived just in time. 

The Atlanta Rowing Club has great facilities. A nice club house with lots of great boats. I was welcomed by the club’s Vice President and President and after signing a waiver and saying hello to the other Masters rowers I found myself a part of a mixed (three guys and a lady) quad taking out a Hudson boat on the fast flowing Chattahoochee river.

The lady stroked the boat. I was seated in 2, which I guess is the lowest risk position on a quad steered from the bow seat. On the downstream 6k I got used to the stroke’s extremely fast tap down and hands away. I also got convinced to move my footstretcher sternwards. I had no time to admire the surroundings, trying to get the timing right. 

At the turning point, I adjusted the footstretcher, when bow seated Vice President suggested that on the way back we should try to catch those singles that had about 1500m on us. The lady on stroke seat accepted the challenge and started to stroke a fun 26spm. I was OK because the higher SPM, especially with adjusted footstretchers, was easier to follow than the estimated 21spm down stream. 

After a little argument with what the rest of my crew called “a redneck” who decided to park his fishing boat in the middle of the narrowest part of the river, called “the narrows” and a little more of 27spm rowinf we caught up with the singles. Shortly after that, our bow man landed us on a very shallow part of the river. So shallow that the hulk scraped the bottom and we had to get out and push the boat to deeper water. 

It was a great row. On quads, I usually sit in stroke seat, so I really enjoyed sitting in the middle, trying to sync with the strokeand catch unannounced SPM changed. I finished the row all sweaty and wet, mix of sweat and river water. 

I uung around the rowing club a little longer, because I love post row chats, and arranged for a mixed double for monday evening.

I really appreciate the guest rows. It is good to be part of an international community of rowers, and I invite all rowers to contact me whenever they are close to Brno and fancy a row.

After this adventure, I went for a coffee, then drove back to the hotel. 

In the afternoon, I took a walk to the Olympic Centennial park. I expected to see an Olympic stadium but I just found a par with an Aquarium, World of Coca Cola and a few other museums. In the end I decided to visit the National Center for Civic and Human Rights. I spent about two hours in the museum, taking in the American civil rights movement and the struggle for human rights. One lady asked me if I was from the US and when I said ‘no’, she said she was so embarrassed about segregration. Well, being from The Netherlands, my national history isn’t exactly free of embarrassment, given that the Dutch profited a lot from slave trade. 

I teturned to the hotel to prepare for the working week, and was delighted to discover that my employer’s offices are on walking distance from my hotel.



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