After a long week of rowing and exploring the city by land, we took the rowers out for a nice long paddle through the canals of Amsterdam to see the city from a different perspective. We loaded into two large wooden coxed quads and paddled away from Willem III.
The rowers filled the spots in each boat while our two program managers, myself and Jan-Willem, sat in the spacious coxswain seats. Unlike the racing shells our rowers are used to, these boats are significantly wider and are designed for novice crews and recreational rowers. Seeing as how we were going through the city canals and had many bridges to go under and motor boats to avoid, the rowers weren’t too upset with the change.
We cruised through the canals, going through narrow bridge openings (and bouncing off a few of them along the way), avoiding the canal cruisers carrying camera-toting tourists, and seeing some of Amsterdam’s famous landmarks. while the openings under the bridges were wide enough to allow us to pass, a few were so narrow the rowers had to lie back and hold their handles wide so we could fit through.
Part way through our journey we stopped, pulled the boats to the side of a canal, tied them off, and enjoyed some coffee and apple pie. After our snack break we hopped back in the boats and cruised past the train station, science museum, and a few more landmarks en route to Willem III. While many people can say they have cruised through the canals of Amsterdam, not many can say they have done it in a rowing boat.