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Seattle Sketcher

An illustrated journal of life in the Puget Sound region by Times artist Gabriel Campanario.

August 19, 2009 at 2:26 PM

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A view of Seattle from the water, rowing in Lake Union

Posted by Gabriel Campanario

evanjacobs081809m.jpg Aug. 18, 7:25 a.m. [Click image to view larger] [Sketch location]

The first time Evan Jacobs came to Seattle from Southern California in the mid 90s, Lake Union was an unexpected discovery. "There's no other bigger open space in the city. You can come here and be by yourself," he said as we watched the city come to life from a 28-foot double-seater scull early Tuesday morning. Other rowers went by and a couple of float planes landed while I sketched the striking view.

Jacobs, 36, now calls Seattle home and the lake his training ground, where he rows for 90 minutes every morning before heading to his job as software programmer at Amazon. This Saturday he'll be racing in the Great Cross Sound Race between Alki Beach and Bainbridge island, which he has won the last three years. "It's a really wonderful event with a mass start of more than 50 human-powered boats," he said.

An international rower and member of Lake Washington Rowing Club, Jacobs recommends everyone in Seattle practice at least one water sport. And he is obviously partial to rowing. "I like the culture, the movement... the feeling of the boat going fast above the water. It's a magical sensation," he said.

During the crash course, Jacobs taught me how to "feather the oar" -- control the movement of the paddle -- to avoid "catching a crab" -- rowing speak for sinking the oar. I think I didn't do too bad, only caught a crab two or three times. "At the end you were sort of a natural," he said.

Maybe I should think seriously about taking a rowing class. But, wait, I just had one! Let's go rowing again!

Related links
Lake Washington Rowing Club
Sound Rowers

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