Support the Wellness Warriors Paddling Team and Enter a Raffle for Red Sox vs. Yankees Tickets

 

Promoting Optimal Wellness for Body, Mind and Spirit

Promoting Optimal Wellness for Body, Mind and Spirit

Donate to Wellness Warriors and Enter a Raffle to Win Sox vs. Yankees Tickets.

Only 5 days left! For a donation of $10.00 or more,  you may be the next lucky winner! 

Rowing for a Cause – Wellness Warriors (Cancer Survivor Paddling Team in Boston.) I first met this amazing group of cancer survivors at the Friends of Mels Foundation Annual Conference – The Art of Living; Life Beyond Cancer. For more information about the Wellness Warriors Dragon Boat Team – http://www.wellnesswarriorsboston.org. #dragonboat.

Wellness Warriors CRWBTY5UkAQuYG3

Wellness Warriors is Massachusetts’ first dragon boat team for cancer survivors and caregivers. Their mission is to provide new opportunities for cancer survivors and caregivers to heal – physically and emotionally – by being active participants in their own recovery and part of a mutually empowering dragon boat team. In addition, they are working to raise awareness within the metropolitan Boston survivor and medical professional community of the benefits of paddling for cancer recovery, wellness and a healthy lifestyle. They accomplish this through education, outreach and by being an inspirational presence of strong and confident cancer survivors. Join them for a paddle on the Charles River! 

Wouldn’t it be great to have the Wellness Warrior and their dragon boat at the Blackburn Challenge?! This year’s Blackburn Challenge will be held July 16th.

You can meet these and other Cancer Survivor Support Groups at the 6th Annual

Home

Conference, The Art of Living. Live Beyond Cancer. At the Quincy Marriott. November 12thwww.friendsofmel.org. Enjoy breakfast, lunch and attend interesting workshops and lectures. Dreamtime Wellness™ will be there once again to offer brief sessions of Reiki for ‘Rest and Renewal.’

Go Sox! Go Survivors!   ~ Karen 

Karen Pischke B.S.N., R.N., C.C.R.N. Alumnus. Certified Hypnotherapist, Tobacco Treatment Specialist, Usui Reiki Teacher/Komyo Shihan. Owner/Founder of Dreamtime Wellness™ Promoting Optimal Wellness for Body, Mind & Spirit www.DreamtimeWellness.com. Find us on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dreamtime-Wellness-/348619611849199

Disclaimer: This blog pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about health and related sub­jects. The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If the reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with an appropriately licensed physi­cian or other health care worker. Never dis­re­gard pro­fes­sional med­ical advice or delay in seek­ing it because of some­thing you have read on this blog or in any linked materials. If you think you may have a med­ical emer­gency, call your doc­tor or 911 immediately. The views expressed on this blog and web­site have no rela­tion to those of any academic, hospital, practice or other insti­tu­tion with which the authors are affiliated.

 

Paddling on the Annisquam River – exercise, meditation, or social outlet? All of the above!

Promoting Optimal Wellness for Body, Mind and Spirit

Promoting Optimal Wellness for Body, Mind and Spirit

Exercise and Meditation in Nature on Beautiful Cape Ann.

Paddling the Annisquam – Yesterday I headed out “for a quick paddle before the storm.” Once on the water, my senses were engulfed by the beauty and peacefulness of my surroundings. I began to paddle slower. Getting into a natural rhythm. ‘Meditation in motion’ with each stroke; reflective and introspective. Then, occasionally sprinting for aerobic exercise and interval training, interspersed with moments of meditation. Inhaling deeply, exhaling completely. Fresh salt air filling my lungs felt healing. Gliding alongside the salt marsh I was accompanied by swooping swallows, soaring elegant egrets, and stately cormorants perched on rocks and buoys to dry their wings.

Cormorant Drying Its Wings

Cormorant Drying Its Wings

Did you know that in some areas of Japan, Cormorant (umiu) are used for fishing (ukai?) I wonder if any Gloucester fisherman have tried this?

Keisai Elsen's print of Cormorant Fishing on the Nagara River, Japan

Keisai Elsen’s print of Cormorant Fishing on the Nagara River, Japan

Ever-present sea gulls were there looking to steal a meal. Sandpipers piping, ran along transient beaches formed by low tide. Auntie Vi, God rest her soul loved ‘the peeps,’ as she called them. I was reminded me of Florida. The sand so white in some parts of the Annisquam, that I am ‘transported’ to Siesta Key. The water so clear I can see large quahaug shells, the kind used for clam chowdah, empty, littering the sand beneath.

Quahaug

Quapaw

Memories flash through my mind, triggered by all of my senses – Auntie Vi and Uncle Roger had the “BEST Clam Bakes Evah!!” Rogah would haul lobsta pots from his Novi boat. My husband and his brothers”‘baited the traps’ with old, smelly fish, left out in the sun.” Imagine that!  

Novi boat

Novi boat

I was distantly aware of the sound of boat engines as they navigated through the twists and turns of the channel. I kept an ear on the boats and an ‘eye on the sky.’ The weather channel predicted storms around 2 p.m. The Claudia and Marie lobster boat heads in. I wondered if I should too? Maybe they know the storm is coming closer. But the river’s tantalizing charm and beauty keep me entwined in its web of waterways.

Summer Sunset on the Annisquam

Annisquam River and Pearce Island

The slower I paddled the more I noticed, around me and within. Internally and externally I became more aware of areas where I was holding tension. With greater awareness, more tension can be released and let go. As if the clean, clear water washed over and cleansed me, my body healthier. My mind is clear. My heart filled with joy. Puffy white clouds reflected in the water. Storm clouds loomed in the distance.

Cumulonimbus Clouds

Cumulonimbus Clouds

Cumulonimbus clouds – These puffy white clouds are the ones to pay attention to. Beautiful to look at, but indicate potential thunderstorms. Remember – Any port in a storm! 

Letting Go of the ‘To Do List’ is Easier on the Annisquam – I switched my goal from exercise to simply enjoying a beautiful day on the water. Summer goes by too fast not to enjoy it!  Across the river I notice two men in bright blue, single outriggers. Did you know that Wikipedia lists 57 different shades of blue on their chart, from A-Z? Including Azure, Baby blue, Celeste, Colbolt, Cornflower, Cyan, Denim, Indigo, Iris, Maya blue, Persian blue, Prussian blue, Royal blue, Sapphire, Sky Blue, Teal, Turquoise, Ultramarine and Zaffre…to name but a few. A client recently described the ‘blue’ in their visualization as ‘Bahama Blue.’ Lovely description! What color blue were those outrigger? 

Azure Blue

Azure Blue

I guess ‘azure blue.’ Drawn by the beautiful color and thinking they are here for the BBC, I paddle over to say ‘hi.’ Oscar and Jeff are here from Washington D.C., paddling single outriggers in the Blackburn Challenge, out on a practice run to familiarize themselves with the course. They tell me the marine forecast was changed –  storms aren’t expected until 5 pm. Yes!! I have more time to spend on the Annisquam. The ‘to do list’ completely floats out of my conscious mind, and I head to Lobster Cove in Annisquam. From the water I admired the beautiful homes with manicured lawns and gardens, and more blue, as hydrangea seemed to be everywhere.

More paddlers came by. One was my Reiki Student Nancy, a nurse. She was with her friend Gay who owns I.C. Treats.

I.C. Treats Ice Cream Boat

I.C. Treats Ice Cream Boat

(Photo © Courtesy Donna Ardizzoni at https://ardizzoniphotography.wordpress.com)

Look for this ice cream boat at Wingaersheek Beach on weekends.  What a treat! These lovely ladies invited me to join them paddling, and guided me to to an area on the river where I had never been. Here, hidden behind small salt marsh islands are still waters, free of motor boats, at least for now at mid tide. Just us and a few sea gulls. A returning tide carries us effortlessly up the river.  A beautiful day on the Annisquam exercising, meditating, socializing; peaceful, relaxing and energizing.

Storm on the Horizon

Storm on the Horizon

After my paddle, my husband and I head to Lobsta Land for his traditional ‘pre-Blackburn carb-loading meal’ – shrimp provencal and an Allagash White beer. At Lobsta Land, the food is consistently good, the wait and bar staff friendly, the views of the marsh lovely, the atmosphere fun; a lot like Cheers. We watched this storm moving east, down the Annisquam to the ocean; great views of the storm  over the salt marsh. I just missed a photo of an impressive lightening bolt. Wonder if any FOB were able to capture the lightening flashes?

Waiting for the Storm to Pass

Waiting for the Storm to Pass

At Lobsta Land Restaurant​ we met 2 men from Ottawa Canada, Chris and Bruce, in town for the Blackburn. Chris told us he was so focused while training in the harbor, he “almost hit one of the tall ships.” From his description, “black and about 100 feet long,” I think it might have been the Schooner Adventure or Thomas E. Lannon. Whichever tall ship she was, the captain had to blow his horn to prevent a collision. Amazing focus Chris, not to see that! 🙂 The couple dining next to us live on Pavilion beach with a front row seat for the finish of the BBC.

Schooner Adventure

Schooner Adventure

(Photo © Courtesy Joey Ciaramitaro)

The Blackburn Challenge is Today! Come on down to the Gloucester High for the start (7 a.m.) or stop by vantage points along the way – Corliss Landing, Lighthouse Beach, Andrew’s Point, Eastern Point, or the finish at Pavilion Beach, by the infamous greasy pole. This fleet of human-powered boats is a sight to be seen. Participants are challenged by skill, courage, endurance and perseverance, just like its namesake – Howard Blackburn who, while fishing in an open dory at sea was separated from the mother ship by a blizzard. With his hands frozen to the oars, he rowed five days without food or water until he reached land in Newfoundland. He went on to set a record for swiftest solo sailing voyage across the Atlantic that stood for decades. For more on Howard Blackburn, read Joe Garland’s Lone Voyager.

Today’s Marine forecast – “71 degrees, partly cloudy, north east winds, 5-10 knots, seas 2-3 feet.”  www.weather.noaa.gov.

“Perfect paddling conditions” according to my husband, who is competing in his 8th BBC this year. Be sure to check the marine forecast before you head out onto the water.

Good luck to All that are paddling and rowing today’s  Blackburn Challenge! Be Safe and Have Fun!   ~ Karen Pischke

See you at the Blackburn!  ~ Karen Pischke BSN, RN

Karen Pischke B.S.N., R.N. Owner/Founder of Dreamtime Wellness™  Promoting Optimal Wellness for Body, Mind & Spirit www.DreamtimeWellness.com. Find us on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dreamtime-Wellness-/348619611849199

Disclaimer: This blog pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about health and related sub­jects. The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If the reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with an appropriately licensed physi­cian or other health care worker. Never dis­re­gard pro­fes­sional med­ical advice or delay in seek­ing it because of some­thing you have read on this blog or in any linked materials. If you think you may have a med­ical emer­gency, call your doc­tor or 911 immediately. The views expressed on this blog and web­site have no rela­tion to those of any academic, hospital, practice or other insti­tu­tion with which the authors are affiliated.

 

 

Row, Row, Row Your Boat … the Blackburn Challenge is Saturday, July 25th.

blackburn challenge

Row, Row, Row Your Boat …  The Blackburn Challenge is Saturday, July 25th. 

A Marathon for Rowers and Paddlers – the Blackburn Challenge, a ‘marathon’ for rowers is named after famed adventurer Howard Blackburn who demonstrated courage, endurance and perseverance against the odds. Originally from Nova Scotia, Howard Blackburn was fishing out of Gloucester for halibut from the schooner Grace L. Fears. A winter storm came up suddenly, stranding Blackburn and another fisherman in their dory. Blackburn lost his heavy fisherman’s mittens overboard. Knowing that his hands would freeze, he held them in a curved position that would allow him to slip his frozen hands back over the oars. Five days later-days virtually without food, water or sleep, Blackburn had rowed back to shore. His dorymate died en route. Blackburn lost all of his fingers, thumbs, and toe due to frostbite.

howardblackburn

The Blackburn Challenge is a 20+ mile open water circumnavigation of Cape Ann. For experienced boaters with a boat that can be paddled or rowed. Not for the faint of heart or ‘day boaters!’ The waters around Cape Ann can be very rough, with strong winds, strong currents and high waves. 

Registration Ends at Midnight Tonight!  

To Register – http://www.blackburnchallenge.com/BBC_Race_Info.html

Caution – This event is for paddlers/rowers with solid experience in difficult ocean conditions.

Things to Consider Before You Enter –

  • You must be able to complete the course within 6 hours.
  • Take into account your personal health and conditioning.
  • Take appropriate food and fluids for the race.
  • Wear a pfd (personal flotation device.)
  • Know the course; tides, currents, wind, weather all need to be factored in
  • Train for the event; practice and prepare as you would for any marathon or endurance race.
  • Study a chart of Cape Ann and familiarize yourself with rocks, tides, currents, wind, and weather.
  • Follow boat safety and navigation rules!

US Coast Guard Boat Safety Tips – http://www.uscgboating.org

What Boats Can Enter – The Blackburn Challenge is open to seaworthy oar or paddle powered craft.

The difference between paddling and rowing? Rowing requires oars to have a mechanical connection with the boat, while paddles are hand-held and have no mechanical connection.

Boats you might see in the water that day – paddle boards, dories, rowing skulls, outriggers, kayaks and surf skis. Some powered by a single person, others by teams.

Circumnavigating Cape Ann. – Rowers launch at Gloucester High School, head down the Annisquam River to Ipswich Bay and clockwise around Cape Ann past Rockport, with the race ending at Pavillion Beach, near Gloucester’s infamous Greasy Pole.

Blackburn Challenge GoogleEarth_Image

Blackburn Challenge

To see more about the course  – http://www.blackburnchallenge.com/BBC_Race_Course.html

For a nautical chart of the course – http://www.charts.noaa.gov/OnLineViewer/13279.shtml

Wear You Can Watch the Race/Vantage Points Along the Route –

  • Corliss Landing (Gloucester)
  • Light House Beach (Gloucester; Private beach for Annisquam residents and guests.)
  • Halibut State Park (Rockport)
  • Andrew’s Point (Rockport)
  • Emerson Point (Rockport)
  • Eastern Point (Gloucester)

YouTube Video from GMG’s own Marty Luster – Blackburn Challenge 2014 

Photos From 2013 Blackburn Challenge  – https://goodmorninggloucester.wordpress.com/2013/07/27/michael-chamness-wings-and-wavest-blackburn-challenge-photos/

 Those interested in volunteering for this epic race – Contact Cape Ann Rowing Club President, Suzanne Sweeney- SuzanneSweeney05@gmail.com.

Note – The Cape Ann Rowing Club is a 100% volunteer non-profit organization. Excess registration funds to deserving non-profit organizations.

For more on the story about the legend behind Blackburn Challenge http://www.blackburnchallenge.com/BBC_Race_History.html. You can also read about the life and adventures of Howard Blackburn in The Extraordinary Adventures of Howard Blackburn; Hero Fisherman of Gloucester, by Joseph E. Garland.

Lone Voyager

Please, Boat Safely! Motor Boats, Please Beware of Paddlers and Rowers During the Race.

See you at the Blackburn!  ~ Karen Pischke BSN, RN

Karen Pischke B.S.N., R.N. Owner/Founder of Dreamtime Wellness™  Promoting Optimal Wellness for Body, Mind & Spirit www.DreamtimeWellness.com. Find us on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dreamtime-Wellness-/348619611849199

Disclaimer: This blog pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about health and related sub­jects. The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If the reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with an appropriately licensed physi­cian or other health care worker. Never dis­re­gard pro­fes­sional med­ical advice or delay in seek­ing it because of some­thing you have read on this blog or in any linked materials. If you think you may have a med­ical emer­gency, call your doc­tor or 911 immediately. The views expressed on this blog and web­site have no rela­tion to those of any academic, hospital, practice or other insti­tu­tion with which the authors are affiliated.

Getting Fit on Cape Ann Waterways

Getting Fit on Cape Ann Waterways

Promoting Optimal Wellness for Body, Mind & Spirit

Promoting Optimal Wellness for Body, Mind & Spirit

Start your paddles!! Nothing like a meditative paddle on the beautiful waterways of Cape Ann! 

Sun Setting on the Annisquam River

Sun Setting on the Annisquam River

A sure sign of spring! Last Sunday I saw the first surf-ski on the Annisquam River. A stealth looking Epic V10 Sport, like the one in this photo from Gloucester’s Wings and Waves Photo Art –  https://www.flickr.com/photos/wingsandwaves/9348952657/in/album-72157634766231655/   Maybe they were practicing for one of the upcoming rowing races! A Fitness Challenge!

Andrew's Point

Andrew’s Point

Whether on the Essex River, Ipswich Bay, Manchester and Rockport Harbors, Gloucester’s inner and outer harbor, or one of the many quiet coves, there are plenty of beautiful waterways to choose from. And a boat or board for someone of all ages and skill levels to paddle around Cape Ann! Continue reading