Thursday night: The trip didn’t seem like it was getting off on the right foot when we left Melbourne on a cold, rainy night for the 2 hour dark drive up to Nagambie. After an exhausting week at work we arrived at the campsite and already we had encountered our first challenge, a boom gate. Thanks to organisation queen Kathy’s email “most” of us got through without a hitch – others needed to wake up the locals only to be reminded that the code had already been sent out. A couple of U-turns later we found our cabins and settled in for the night.
Day 1: Early morning wake-up call. It seemed each cabin had a morning person and ours was Edwina. Leaping out of her bed at 5:30 AM and annoying those who wanted an extra 10 minutes (or 2 hours!) snooze. Yash wasn’t quite coping but a coffee delivered to bed fixed her up soon enough.
Again the weather didn’t seem to be ideal, cold, rainy, and muddy we set out for the day. Down to the lake at 6:15 to rig the boats, a quick meet & greet and then straight on to the water. Given that 2 hours is about the most any of us beginners have rowed in a day we were in for some hurt. We had a massive 6 hours ahead of us and despite the enthusiasm, it wasn’t easy! (How do the regular members keep up their energy?!) One of the most enjoyable parts of the day was the barbeque, which we were all excited about! Over some delicious BBQ the DS heard some great stories and advice form rowing veterans, mainly Rob.
Fed and somewhat rested it was then time for the box biting challenge to begin. For those who couldn’t stay out to watch, Dave was live on facebook, moving around the cabins to make sure nobody missed out (rumour has it that he was locked out of his own cabin!!). It came down to a battle to the death between Alan & Edwina but it was a win for the girls and the DS!
Day 2: Another early start, another coffee for Yash, two morning rows and some new experiences for us all. Yash had her first go at being a coxswain for RRC. Following a “slight” disastrous coxing experience in another club, she considered it a win by not sinking the boat. Well done
Edwina had her first go in a double with Jen. She thought she was killing it until she realised Jen had been balancing the boat the entire time. It’s okay Edwina, we think you killed it. Then we went to the pub for the AFL grand finale. Most patrons supported the Dogs, but for Yash and Edwina even watching the game was a new experience. The most heartbreaking moment of the day was watching Kathy’s face of disappointment at the Swan’s defeat, her fault for following a team from Sydney I guess (just kidding). After a long afternoon of eating & drinking, most of us were ready for an early night.
Day 3: This was probably the most difficult morning start. Packing up the cabins before the first row wasn’t what we had in mind after 2 days of rowing. But all good things must come to an end. The killer sunrise made us hopeful but the wind made it difficult, the water was choppy and there were a few grumpy seats in boats.
The fatigue and empty headedness showed as we all let go of our oars when Rebecca told us to throw up our arms for a photo, we didn’t realise she was joking…..For the last session the other crews raced each other but DS were struggling to keep the balance of the boat amongst all the waves. By the end of it we weren’t sure which had more water in it, the lake or our boat.
With all the fun over it was time to pay our dues, as if our muscles hadn’t suffered enough over the last few days. De-rigging, boat loading, car-packing and back to Melbourne for re-rigging, boat unloading and car unpacking as well as washing the boats & oars. At least the sun was shining?
We don’t know about everyone else, but I was asleep by 8 that night and looking forward to sleep past 5:30 AM. What a weekend! Thanks for everyone who organised the weekend – especially Kathy, Tim, Barry & the coaches but also to all the other members for including and supporting us. We not only had a great time but bonded well as a team despite a lack of sleep and a bunch of blisters. We are sure all of the DS feel the same way, sore, glad, grateful and keen to go again – we had such a great weekend!
-Edwina & Yash