Leave your Oars by the Door


What have I gotten myself into…

On saturday I will probably, maybe, more than likely be participating in a punt race.

A punt is a small row boat, popular in Newfoundland during the cod fishing days (all the days before these ones). They are rowed by 2 people, and one of those people is going to be me. It is a 7 mile race from this island to another one, across the open waters of the North Atlantic Ocean.

It’s in 5 days.

I have never row-row-rowed a boat in my life. Not gently down the stream, and definitely not over THE OPEN OCEAN full of sea monsters, sharks and free willy’s… Also might I remind you, that I make pastries for a living. I am basically a human marshmallow. I am a balogne in a blonde wig. Oy veh. Sometimes saying “yeah, sure, that sounds fun!” to everything gets you into situations that can make your butt really sore.


So. I went out with my possible/probably partner Fraser this morning. She is awesome. She lives on the island in the summer, spending her time foraging wild edibles for money and taking guests of the island hiking. She was very patient with me this morning. Firstly I had to just get into the damn boat. I had Vietnam-esque flashbacks of my day in Italy with my sister when I toppled headfirst into a gondola, neon green chucks in the air, skirt over my head, showing the Venetian public and a bunch of fancy tourists my baby blue underpants. Yep.. graceful.

It was INCREDIBLE though! We were only out there for about half an hour. 30 minutes of me trying to keep my oars facing perpendicular to the water, making my Deep Concentration face and mostly just succeeding in splashing about in a circle. But it was so early, and the air was cool over the water, the seagulls were freaking out, and I saw a jellyfish. Fraser said “Don’t worry about being fast, or having the strength because the race is in 5 days so you either got it or you dont, just try to get the rhythm.” Rhythm, and you know, try not to be so magnetically drawn to the rocks.

Anyone in my life for any period of time has witnessed what I like to unironically refer to as “My Sweet Moves” and can attest to the fact that they are not very sweet.. but there is a lot of movement. I put a lot of energy into it…. I do not have any rhythm. I do not even understand where my arms and legs are in relation to my body at any given moment. But I loved it. It was so fun. And felt good to get my muscles moving. And I hit a jellyfish with my oar which I still feel a bit guilty about even though it didnt seem to faze it because they dont have brains or bones. Yep so, I am a punter now.

CB and I are going out for an hour tomorrow morning to give it another go. Yes mom, we have sunscreen and life jackets and a whistle.  I just picked up these oars from Mona. She is the lady who’s place I’m taking in the race because she’s had a buggered up elbow for a while and rowing kind of ruined it more. Smiling away all happy-go-lucky while she watched me clumsily stuff these giant oars through the front window of the Buick.. looking.. dubious. Yeah.. I would be too I think. So Im just alerting you now, internet. If I dont blog again by the evening after work, I’m probably in the belly of a whale, trying to distract CB by pop’n’locking in salinated Orca bile. *sweet moves*

Seriously, call the police. Call all of the police.


Author: Kara Lalalala

I write this blog for my family cause I am terrible at letters & emails.

4 thoughts on “Leave your Oars by the Door”

  1. Sounds like you got yourself a great new hobby. One that you can even do sitting down (and with snacks on your lap perhaps?).

    I’ve always fancied the idea of rowing. Or at least having defined arms and shoulders instead of round shoulders and batwings. One of my besties did dragon boating in high school and I so desperately wanted to join her only they got up really early in the morning to do it and I valued my sleep too much. Such a wasted opportunity though. Our school was on the edge of the perfect rowing lake. Super calm, glassy even.

  2. Oh dont think that wasnt my first thought when I was asked if I was interested in doing it! I ran around in a circle thinking about what cool snacks I could bring with me. Then I wondered about a feedbag-esque contraption I could sling around my neck so I didnt have to pause my rowing. I have already kind of formulated a high protein, low GI cookie in my head for the big day. This is further proof i am not a natural athlete and have made the right career decision I think. GENIE YOU SHOULD BUG YOUR FRIEND TO TAKE YOU OUT! CAPITAL LETTERS! Its so fun. Bring the Koala and the bun, it would be, so fun!

  3. I went kayaking on a small lake for the first time a bit ago. Got on the water and panicked. Had to remind myself that it was not the open ocean. You are brave.

    1. I dont know about brave, maybe just.. a combo of insane and stupid.. instupidity? Tried to go out this morning to see how it went but the winds were at 60k/h (slightly more than average for here) and I had vivid scenes in my head play out where CB and I smash Frasers punt unto the rocks in a very dramatic way and all our blood is all over the place. And then Im left clinging to a bit of prow while CB shivers in the cold water and Im all like.. naw there’s uh not really much room on this bit of wood for you, my dear, peace out. And then something about a necklace or something. We decided to stay home and not die instead. So maybe I am learning. Kayaking is so fun! And if you tip, you just flip right back over! Unless you don’t, in which case you drown, big time.. Im glad you survived!!

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