If the wind pushes the boat into the grassy reeds, how do you get out of it without being pulled out by a coach? Do you have the side that’s not stuck back? Thanks!
First things first is to tell your boat to be quiet. Everyone is going to have an opinion on the best way to get out of there and there’s a good chance that someone or everyone will be annoyed at the situation. It’s your job to tell them to listen to your instructions because the more at-attention they are, the faster and easier it’ll be for you to get out of there.
The biggest thing here is making sure your skeg doesn’t get broken or bent. If it’s shallow or the weather’s been bad lately (and there’s a lot of debris in the water), you’ll need to listen for any bumps or noises that indicate you might have hit a log. Sometimes they can get caught up in the reeds too which makes it hard to avoid them. Make sure you don’t push it straight down because it’ll just pop right back up and do more damage (possibly catching your fingers in between it and the skeg, which would probably result in some form of bloodshed). If you don’t here any bumps or anything but still find it hard to steer with the strings, you might have to stick your arm under the boat and pull off anything that’s gotten caught around the skeg and the rudder.
As far as actually getting out of the reeds, if you’ve been blown in from the port side, for example, would require some backing mainly from the port rowers. You can have the starboard side assist but it could be hard for them to row if their oar is in the reeds. As soon as rowers (starting from bow pair) start getting clear though, have them row.
To clear your the blades if you’re really stuck in there, I’d feather the blade and just hack back and forth a bit to cut the reeds down a little. I saw a crew do this at a regatta once on the way to the start line and they were out of there in about two minutes. Unless the wind is really bad and negating anything you try and do, I wouldn’t do more than arms and body rowing. This is to avoid swinging the boat to quickly and sharply, which could cause damage to it if you hit something under the surface.
I’d start out with 6 and stroke backing to get your bow pointed towards open water and then have bow and 3 row to swing the bow out. Once your bow pair or bow four are clear of any visible reeds, have them row full slide to get the rest of the boat free. Once you’re clear, quickly put your arm back in to pull off any lingering reeds on your skeg/rudder, get your point, and row on. I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen a crew get out of a situation like that only to sit idle once they’re clear and then get blown right back into the reeds. You have to get away from them if you want to avoid getting stuck again, so row up a few hundred meters to a spot where it’s clear and then stop if you need to.