The zen of flat water

I just came off the water from a perfect early morning row around Grand Island, loafing along at a two-breaths-per-stroke pace on perfectly smooth water. I’m fat, very fat, so the poor shell ran low in the water and wasn’t having an easy time running between strokes, slowing down on the recovery like it was dragging a wet sweatshirt. Still, with no one on the water or shore save the owner of the Cotuit Oyster Company loading his skiff for a morning’s work on the beds and a couple unseen carpenters in the woods putting the final touches on a winter project on a summer house, it was nice to be able to row on flat water with nary a morning motorboat to throw a wake in my path or to feel self-conscious as I sculled under the Osterville draw bridge and past the docks of Crosby’s and Oyster Harbors Marine.

Soon enough, in less than two months, mornings will be a lot less solitary, and I hope to then to be rowing in a thinner condition than I am today.

As I circled Grand Island I thought about some interesting stuff I’ve been reading lately about local native history and the Wampanoag tribe. I didn’t know, until last weekend, that Grand Island (Oyster Harbors) was the primary Wampanoag village in the area, Cotachesset, and was located close to the site of the present Oyster Harbors Club, an exclusive country club/beach club. Lots of questions went through my mind this morning about how the Wampanoag’s (led by Poupmunnuck, from which the modern name Pocknett is derived) moved from island to mainland and whydid they establish the village on an island for protection, and if so, from whom.

Cotachesset & the Oyster Harbors Club


Whatever, nice row on a grey morning (morning rows are nearly impossible to do during the week due to 7 am China Olympic calls) Now to do some paperwork and get ahead of the week to come.

Author: David Churbuck

Cape Codder with an itch to write

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