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Traditinal Rowing in Kalba

A couple of weeks ago, we headed to Kalba, UAE to do some traditional rowing in the mangroves. The whole gang showed up, pretty much the entire company except a couple of people. I chose a seat behind Mike, next to Ania around the middle of the boat.

Our Emirati rowing instructor was a national champion. At first he counted, setting a pace for us and then once we settled in started singing traditional songs in Arabic. He even taught us a short chorus to chime in with when he could hear it coming around again in the song. I mentioned to Mike and Ania that I felt a lot like Sparticus, which started a round of "I am Sparticus" "No! I am Sparticus!" much to my amusement.

We rowed in relative unison into the mangroves and then back. The pace was pretty blistering and we took no breaks but we had a great time and it was a great workout. I had pretty massive blisters on my hands from it. The pattern of the friction in my palm is different from kayaking, so my calluses from paddling did me no good in rowing.