Team members: Ken Deem
Hometown: Tacoma, WA, USA
Race vessel: Lost Heron 2022 Rowboat
Human propulsion: Row
Some people don’t know when to just take a bow, take the accolades and credit for a job well done, and then save some spotlight for the rest of us.
Team Wave Forager is the kind of team that smashes all expectations, then signs up for more. They could have rested on their laurels. We’d have even pitched in to send them to the laurel store, GoFunded them a real comfy one—shade grown, handcrafted, with lotion.
Instead, he rowed his sculling boat fast enough to the solo record for SEVENTY48 (R2AK’s 70-mile, human-powered little brother) in 9 hours 39 minutes, then said something like:
“Maybe something 10 times longer?”
We sat down with the single human of Team Wave Forager over a bowl of rehydrated expectations to talk about seat cushions, the source of good vibes, and why a 70-mile row wasn’t far enough.
What’s a lesson you learned the hard way?
Leave room for a good seat cushion. Extended rowing takes a toll on your rear end!
What’s your favorite kind of bracket?
What’s your claim to fame?
Wearing many hats? I would like to think it is being a decent doctor, friend, son, brother, husband and dad.
It’s drizzling, freezing cold, and you’ve missed the tide. The cabin is leaky and the stove won’t light. How do you keep the good vibes going?
When I am out adventuring solo, my free thoughts come back to the people in my life. I try to send out good vibes to all my friends and family through what I am doing. It gives me a great sense of gratitude.
Forget the 10k or the steak knives. What does success look like for you and your team?
Coming home healthy with a story to tell, folding the experience into my life and future endeavors.
Defend your vessel. What makes it worthy?
Lost Heron started as a 24-inch paper model riding the shag carpet in my living room in early 2022. It is now a 19.5 foot expedition scull carrying me forth in this 2023 R2AK adventure. In the design, I tried to maintain a responsive feeling at the catch while adding stability and storage. The build is a plywood stitch and glue construction. The rowing station is biased toward the bow, with storage hatches fore and aft. Sealed bulkheads with closed cell flotation are at the bow, stern, port and starboard. I added a 5 foot mast with navigation light and raised a generous splash skirt to keep the rowing station dry. From the rowing station there is room to secure essential daytime gear, a self bailer, rudder lines and of course the means of propulsion: slide, seat, rigger, oars and foot stretcher.
Blank space, baby. Share some things:
I estimate it could take me 200 hours of active rowing to reach Ketchikan. For that, I will need a lot of motivation and a good seat cushion.
It takes a great deal of community support to build an inclusive rowing program. My start in this race is only possible because I had access to a youth rowing program during high school. As I make progress toward Victoria and Ketchikan, I would like to invite race followers to please consider making a donation to Tacoma Rowing, a growing program with a vision to empower youth and build community through rowing. Your donation will help this young program realize its permanent site at the base of the Foss Waterway in Tacoma.
Welcome to the R2AK, Team Wave Forager. When you set the record for this one we’ll make sure we save some applause for the rest of the class, too.