Watermanship Page: 83
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backing astern. This is the safest procedure if the boat
is small and the sea unusually heavy. It cannot be used
when under sail or power.
(2) Row to shore bow first by backing all the oars
on the approach of a wave and rowing ahead again as
soon as it has passed to the bow of the boat. Another
way is to have the aft oarsmen face the bow and start
rowing back at the approach of every wave.
(3) Row in bow first by towing astern a sea anchor,
drogue, or a makeshift drag weighted down by the boat's
anchor to give firmest hold on the water and thereby
e. Rowing to seaward (away from land). General
rules for rowing to seaward are:
(1) Control the boat to avoid breaking seas; that is,
handle the boat so each wave breaks ahead of her. If
the shore is flat and the broken water extends a good
distance off shore this will often be impossible.
(2) Against a head gale and a heavy surf, get all pos-
sible speed at the approach of every wave which cannot
(3) If more speed can be given a boat than is neces-
sary to prevent her from being carried back by surf, the
movement forward may be checked on the surf's ap-
proach and therefore the boat will make an easier pas-
sage over it.
f. Beaching lifeboat. Running before a surf or
broken sea and beaching or landing of a boat are two
distinct operations. The handling of lifeboats described
in b above has exclusive reference to running before a
surf where the shore is so flat the broken water some-
times extends 4 or 5 miles from the land. On an ex-
tremely steep beach the first heavy fall of broken water
will be on the beach itself. The outermost line of
broken water on a flat shore where the waves break in
18 or 24 feet of water is the heaviest and most dangerous.
Once inside this line the danger lessens because as the
water shoals its force is spent. Never forget the handling
of lifeboats is quite different in beaching on flat and
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United States. War Department. Watermanship, book, April 25, 1944; Washington, D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96650/m1/89/: accessed July 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.