Between reading Rupert Kirkwood's Lone Kayaker blog (which is a great read if you haven't seen it) and the strong winds we've had pretty much every weekend, I can't actually remember the last time I went rowing. So with chronic withdrawal symptoms, an all too brief window between daylight and the rain forecast for lunchtime, I was down at the slipway just after 8.00 on a flat calm Sunday morning.
I had the slipway to myself apart from this cormorant who hung around curiously while I prepped the boat and flew off at the last moment as I launched.
At first I thought there was mist rising from the saltings, but a little further down I realised it was smoke from the houseboats at Salterns.
Stopping off in Hamble to deliver a Christmas card, I headed back up river, the view was fantastic, does it get any better? Alas the view downriver was less inviting, the forecast clouds and rain making an unwelcome early appearance.
By the time I'd rowed up river from Hamble village the cloud had caught up. There followed a sprint back to Swanwick hard, with blisters to show how out of rowing condition I am. Fortunately the rain held off and I type this with the fire blazing and a hot cup of tea. Great start to the day.