Irene is “past” although actually we are getting stronger wind gusts on the tail end than we got during the storm (50+ mph).
The Passaic River is forecast to reach record flood levels, but that usually takes 2-3 days to happen. Judging from these pics we won’t be getting on the water anytime soon.
Passaic River Rowing Association docks, North Arlington, NJ:
PRRA boat bays post-flood mess (that’s my boat second from the top on left):
Nereid Boat Club upriver in Rutherford, NJ – they are on a narrow bend and get bad flooding when the tide is high. To give perspective, this is taken from across the street and up the hill from the boathouse – the normal course of the river is BEHIND the boathouse!
Everybody stay safe!
Well, the time has come to change my rowing club affiliation to Passaic River Rowing Association. I rowed with a buddy at PRRA last fall when I won Masters Nationals in the double sculls, and I feel that the club will align better with my competitive goals while allowing me more flexibility to integrate Crossfit into my training. It is also where the Don Bosco and Ridgewood crews row out of, and has just received a grant to start construction on a boathouse. Don Bosco is the high school team that started doing winter training at Crossfit Ignite this year.
It’s been a great run at Nereid, but sometimes change creates an opportunity for excellence, and I’d like to take it to the next level a couple of miles downstream!
Here’s why: It’s day 5 after the storm last weekend, and the Passaic River is still flooded and too swift to risk small boats, so I’ve been hitting the Crossfit box hard this week and finding myself sore and with cabin fever!
Here’s a video from the Nereid Boat Club docks in the evening. The lower Passaic is tidal, and this was taken at DEAD LOW TIDE when normally there is almost no current. The water level instead was equivalent to what we get in a normal high spring tide. You can see a couple of college team boats in the background barely making headway against the current. I measured the current speed later when there was supposed to be an INCOMING tide, and there was still an outgoing flow of between 2.3 and 2.8 knots!
Still lots of folks without power, and a lot of roads are still closed. Hope this is the last storm of the winter.
Our fellow boathouse, the Passaic River Rowing Association, will be hosting a 2000-meter Concept2 ergometer race this Saturday, March 6, 2010. This is a great opportunity for New York / New Jersey Crossfitters to test their mettle against some competitive rowers. There is a novice category, and this tends to be a pretty relaxed atmosphere.
Registration is open if anyone is interested: http://prra.org/ergclassic/
Well we finally got the word that the crew would be putting our docks back in at Nereid Boat Club as the Passaic River ice is gone and we are expecting warmer temperatures. At this point after 90 days of indoor rowing, I was relishing any opportunity to workout on the water. As part of the “learn new sports” philosophy I started to learn stand-up paddling (SUP) last summer, so I grabbed my Werner Advantage SUP paddle and headed for the boathouse.
One of the funner jobs at dock put-in is being the guy who jumps out onto the floating dock sections after the crane lowers them into the water, and steers them into place against the current. I volunteered right away! These things are 16 feet by 8 feet and weight well over 1000 pounds each. We hook 4 or 5 of them together, and the flotilla has to be kept in position until it is complete and ready to be tethered to land.
It was awesome! Normally SUP is about balance and I find it requires a lot of isometric lower-body work. But this was different – a ripping core workout, trying to overcome the inertia of several tons of dock, jumping from side to side to steer it, and taking long, deep power strokes against essentially static resistance in the water. Because the paddle is taller than your body height and it is held across your body, I was essentially doing a push-up on one side of my body and a pull-up on the other, simultaneously and with huge resistance.
I found that the amount of power you can apply with an 86-inch stand-up paddle is amazing – I could start moving 80 feet of dock after about 5 strokes, and I could easily hold it steady in the current with short intervals of intense paddling.
If any of you are into SUP and are looking for a way to keep it fresh during the winter, try standing on a static dock and digging deep with max effort for intervals of like 1-3 minutes per side. After about 30 minutes I guarantee that every muscle in your torso will be fried.
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