Story by Hugh Fletcher, Photo by Petra U
"Non-flat-water-rowing" events are becoming so numerous that this year Hanlan had to move the Toronto Island Tour to July 6. This is earlier in the year than usual and also it was a Saturday instead of Sunday. Coastal rowing, adventure tours, distance rowing, Sculls and Sails..... there is lots going on this year.
Happily our participation rate was still healthy. Twenty people registered for the Hanlan-hosted OAR Toronto Island Tour. Four coxed quads took part with rowers from Ottawa, Durham and other clubs joining more Hanlan members than usual so it all worked out.
Each year we hope to row around the Toronto islands but the weather has not cooperated in the past. This year we set off from Hanlan and rowed to the Centre Island pier in relatively calm waters. We then decided that it was finally the year when we could complete the whole circuit. Due to the hot weather, there was lots of boat traffic so it was a little crowded at times on the lake but all went smoothly. The water was quite choppy in the western gap and through the inner harbour to Long Pond due to the ferries and stink-pots churning it up but all boats arrived without incident.
Our good friend and island resident Tom Butscher was there to greet us with a reserved BBQ pit and picnic benches. He got there two hours early to stake out our picnic spot. Good man! Thanks Tom. (Tom is both an across-Lake Ontario and an across-Atlantic Ocean rower.)
As usual, we had a great gourmet feast thanks to master chef JC Marly. The boats were about an inch lower in the water when we rowed back to Hanlan. Everybody was tired from the heat and long row, but all had a great time and enjoyed the camaraderie of fellow rowers. We used a roll of electrical tape for blisters on the feet due to the footplates in the touring quads not suiting all sizes, but otherwise all made it happily home.