Special to the Transcript
Well, the 40th Annual Hull Snow Row is now history. It was a beautiful day with bright sunny skies, temps in the low 40s and light breezes that made for a great day on the water. My nephew Matthew and I, along with my brother Steve drove the thirty miles down to the Hull Lifesaving Museum where we unloaded our boat and slid it across 12 inches of snow down to the water’s edge. We were greeted by almost 50 other boats ranging in size from from 12-foot peapods up to 30-foot” gigs, with their six man crews. It was great to stand on the beach and look over the harbor and see old friends. We greeted each other, exchanged rowing stories of terrible weather conditions, boats sinking and where we first met.
This was our 10th time rowing in the Hull Snow Row, named for Winthrop’s own Edward Rowe Snow, a teacher and historian of Boston Harbor. The Snow Row consists of a three and a half mile rowing race around Hingham Harbor. This was our first year that we didn’t transport our the William & Anthony on the back of a lobster boat from Winthrop, cruising four miles through Boston Harbor harbor to Hull. We would have been aboard our good friend Larry Bradley’s lobster boat, the Sandy B. After dropping my boat off, Larry would be one of the safety patrol boats for the race. Sadly. Larry suffered a heart attack while tending his traps and passed away three years ago. Cruising down through Boston Harbor from Winthrop to Hull aboard the Sandy B made the day extra special. Larry’s friendship and personality are surely missed.
Previous years gave us conditions with bitter cold temperatures, snow squalls, bitting winds and large ice flows. This year year brought perfect conditions, calm seas and mild temperatures.The most noticeable thing missing was that stiff, cold northwest wind. Nothing worse than try to get across Hull Gut with an incoming tide and a stiff twenty five knot wind in your face.
My nephew Matthew and I had a special mascot aboard the William & Anthony for today’s race. Nero, was a Belgian Malinois police dog and a canine partner of Yarmouth police officer, Sean Gannon. Sean Gannon was killed last April in the line of duty. Nero was also shot and has recovered. My friend Hilary Moll asked if Nero could ride in the William & Anthony for the race. We were honored to have him aboard our boat.
The race went off exactly at noon. Matthew and I got off to a messy start, but within a few minutes, we got our rowing rhythm and whizzed by most of the fleet(actually they whizzed by us). We headed out to our first turning point, Sheep Island, a small spit of land about 1 1/2 miles from the Point Allerton Coast Guard Base. From Sheep Island we headed north for approximately one mile to the day marker off of Peddocks Island. From there, we rowed the last mile past Fort Andrews on Peddocks Island to the finish line. We pulled the William & Anthony up on the beach, then up to the snow and dragged the boat across the snow to the truck where we loaded her up and tied her down. From there it was over to the old Coast Guard building where we enjoyed the great hospitality of the Hull Lifesaving Museum. Every type of stew, chowder, soup, broth was available along with a variety of breads, rolls, bagels, sandwiches, fresh fruit and deserts. It was an incredible spread. Many thanks to the members of the Hull Lifesaving Museum for organizing another great event. See you all next year