(how not to leave the docks...)
Since our docks are located in the downstream rowing channel, and since the growing sandbars and the low water level are making this channel very narrow, please launch with your shell pointing downstream. If you want to row upstream, row downstream first, then round the sandbar to row upstream on the other (south) side of the island - see diagrams below.
Slow Traffic Zone
Move at slow speed by the docks and to the downstream end of the park. Shells will be launching and docking, and traffic may contain inexperienced canoes, kayaks and fishing boats - see diagrams below.
Because it is very difficult and dangerous, never land on the dock with the current; instead, approach the dock against the current. Since you will be rowing in the wrong, that is the downstream, rowing channel when you’re docking that way, use extreme caution and cross the river as close to the dock, that is as far upstream, as possible - do not row in front of the park - see diagrams below. It is the responsibility of all crew members to pay attention to the boat’s position with respect to the dock when approaching the dock to land. Do not rely exclusively on your coxswain, too many boats have been run up on the dock that way.
(floating log knocked the skeg out of the shell)
(ran into remnants of tree lodged in sandbar)
(In-attention can hurt people, too;
this single sculler was hit head-on by an 8+ on the Charles River - he very luckily survived because of quick medical attention, and because the bow just missed vital organs)
(drawing courtesy of New England Journal of Medicine)
On The Water
Row only in safe areas; refer to the river map (also in the boathouse). Row only on the starboard side of the river. Note that this ‘rowing channel’ winds like a "snake in a tunnel" down the river, avoiding the sandbars on either side: stay on the starboard side within that channel. Be aware of other users of the river, many of which do not know the idiosyncrasies of our sport (that we’re rowing backwards, for example) and follow very different traffic patterns.
If you are an inexperienced rower, an experienced rower or a coach should accompany you on the water.
Be sure to take drinking water with you to maintain a high fluid level. Sunscreens are a must from spring through fall.
While on the water, keep the noise level down so as not to disturb neighbors along the river. The National Park Service has noise level rules that must be respected - do not use amplified bullhorns.
Water Conditions: Check the conditions of the water. The river is known to carry a great deal of debris and the current can be strong. This is especially true after it has rained and the river is high. Many shells have been damaged due to floating logs or logs that have lodged on the river bottom after a storm, so please exercise caution after a rain.
Conditions on the river can change very quickly. Watch for any change in the weather conditions. If in any doubt, do not launch. If you are already on the water, use any means to protect yourself from adverse weather conditions. DO NOT GO ON THE WATER IF CONDITIONS DO NOT PERMIT A SAFE ROW!
Fog: Do not row if you cannot see across the river at water level.
Wind: Exercise extreme caution during windy conditions. Do not launch if white caps form.
Thunderstorms: Danger! Do not launch during any thunderstorm, nor if weather conditions are prone to produce thunderstorms - if you hear thunder, that's a sign... Check the local weather on the computer station at the boathouse; the radar will show you what's coming.