I recently moved to California from Texas, and thanks to the sport of whaleboat racing, my literal perspective on the Bay Area has been at sea level. My view has been from the wooden seat of a 2,000 pound boat dubbed the Lallah Rookh. I row this boat with seven teammates from the Straits of Mare Island Rowing Association. Our races take place all around the Bay Area.
We have raced from Alcatraz to Aquatic Park. As we sat in the Lallah Rookh, bobbing on the water, I marveled at how close we were to the iconic prison, and at the spectacular view of the Bay and City.
At the Berkeley Marina race, the expansive view of the surrounding bay waters took my breath away.
Racing in Vallejo, the remnants of naval ships and old buildings at the Mare Island Shipyard harkened to a bygone era and the proud history of a city.
But I must confess, when we raced in choppy waters from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Bay Bridge, I focused more on surviving the row than on noticing the scenery.