Monday, September 01, 2014

Rafting to Work

About a month ago I decided to buy a boat ... a raft to be specific, and to be even more specific I got this raft:
Intex Sehawk 4 Boat Set
I guess I bought it because I wanted to look like these four happy people who have been photoshopped onto a photo of the boat, which was then photoshopped onto a digital rendering of water.

In spite of the goofy picture, the actual boat is entirely fantastic, far exceeding my expectations for a boat from Amazon under $100. It comes with everything you need pump, paddles, pillows (I did get some life preservers too which it doesn't come with and used an air mattress pump to significantly speed inflating and deflating it). I've used it already a half a dozen times on short sprints to the harbor islands, around lakes, rivers -> and it hasn't shown any signs of wear. One way valves allow you to add air while your floating on the water. One caveat is that you could only fit 4 people on it comfortably if one of the 4 spends most of their time hanging on outside the raft. Another caveat is it is extremely slow; it has about the hydrodynamics of an air mattress. That is even with the extra paddles I got so that everyone can paddle.

Full disclosure: The link above is an 'affiliate' link (but I promise I'm not biased by that, just seemed like I might as well put it there if I'm pushing a product anyway).

One day, my friend Matt and I decided to raft to work (we work in the same building). It started out pretty boring on the super-polluted Mystic river, but once we passed through these locks it got interesting.
Note that to signal the locks you need a horn, so of course I brought along my bike horn which worked perfectly.

We passed this massive boat used to carry cars around the world for the company my Dad works for.

It is an immensely ugly boat too – clearly designed for function not form – it lacks most elements you would typically associate with boats like a bridge or windows. It is a giant a featureless box that appears unsteadily balanced.

This isn't a very popular recreation spot – the the views of the Tobin bridge were great!

The Boston inner harbor is pretty interesting. This is a little dock had people fixing up an old boat.

Boston has these weird school-bus like duck boats (sorry about the lighting).

Getting closer to Boston, you can see the Zakum bridge in the background here. Off the frame to our right is the USS Constitution.

The Charles River Lock

Looking back, the lock gates closing.

We parked the raft in this canal right behind our building.

Thanks Greg for lending me the bike chain lock so I could lock it up.

In all it was a 3.5 hour commute on the water that day ... we did not raft back.


  1. You guys are crazy. Seriously - didn't you see the movie "Mystic River?" I'm surprised you didn't find a way to commute to Woburn via pack mule!

    1. haha thanks Shawn; nope - I haven't seen it!