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My Big Row This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

By MattTrzcinski, Mashpee, MA

When nine of my friends and I, all members of Sea Scouts (a water-centric co-ed version of Boy Scouts for high schoolers), rowed 60 year-old surf boats into the port in Vineyard Haven, I doubt anyone gave us a second look. We were just another group of faces in the crowd. A daily occurrence, really. But it did not feel that way to us. After all, we had just rowed there from Falmouth.

They say the longest journey begins with but a single step. Cliché, yes, but true. A few months ago, the very idea of traveling to the Vineyard sans motor power would have given me high blood pressure. I mean, rowing? In this day and age? I did not think anyone had rowed that distance since the Pilgrims at least. But gradually, with instruction and practice, it seemed plausible.

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