The Last Stage


We knew the last stage of the RAID was going to be a challenge as we would be leaving the protected waters of the Bay of Quinte and heading out onto Lake Ontario. The row started in an easterly direction from Prinyer’s Cove before heading south through the Upper Gap between Prince Edward County and Amherst Island. We were making good progress despite the winds steadily increasing to 15 knots and the waves building to between 3 and 4 feet, both straight on our bows. We had gone about 6K, a quarter of the distance back to the marina, but it was now time to start heading west. With the new direction the waves were hitting us broadside. Rowing on the windward side, you were just as likely to catch air as water and on the leeward side you had to be careful not to get your oar buried under a foot and a half of water (shorter oars might of been an asset). We were faced with another 18K of rowing under these conditions. It was hard to tell whether things were going to improve or get worse. Certainly if we were to keep going and decided to turn back later we would still be faced with taking the waves broadside but on the opposite tack. We chose to turn back at this point, allowing us to keep both wind and waves directly on our sterns. Very disappointing, especially as the first stage had to be cancelled. Our end-of-RAID BBQ went ahead as planned and the disappointments were soon forgotten and our accomplishments celebrated.


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