Overcast sky, the river more than just silent, empty -- devoid. But still reverberating under the silent air are the weekend's sounds: rowers' cries, panting breaths, clashing oars, cox'ns calls, announcer's amplified words, spectators' screams. You can feel it in the air still, not fully dissipated.
Shells of white tents, empty of bodies, chairs, merchandise, food and drink, line the river. The bright-blue-and-white Head of the Charles banner still hangs from Cambridge Boat Club, but the finish line banner is gone.
I have the river almost to myself, an unsurprising fact I discovered a few years back, and now it is a bit of a tradition for me to row the course on my own, feeling the energy of the weekend draining as the river reclaims itself in silence and calm water.
On the way back, I see the beautiful blue heron who graces our river. Long-legged, dignified, shadows of blue and grey. I stop when I see him, let Pepper drift, realize we are the only souls on the river. Well, us and the ghosts of the Charles....