"The ride from Boston to New London was the same as usual, and when we arrived at our destination there was the same steamer waiting to receive us and our luggage and take us up to our quarters. It is from this steamer that we receive our first impressions of the course, and as the steamer goes very slowly the four miles seem to mount up to double that number in the imaginations of some. Everything was looking well at the quarters on our arrival, and after we had carefully taken the boats and oars from the steamer and deposited them in the boathouse, we proceeded to take possession of our rooms, or rather alcoves, for they are little more. Each alcove is provided with a bed, a hard mattress, an exceedingly hard pillow, and a sort of a rough shelf, which serves as a wash stand. The walls are decorated to a certain extent with the statistics of former races, the autographs of former oarsmen, and sarcastic observations from unknown visitors, very partial to our adversaries and uncomplimentary to ourselves.
Almost immediately on our arrival we were summoned to dinner by our careful captain, that we might eat and sufficiently digest our food before rowing. On assembling around the table we were greeted by the familiar face of Robert Churchill, the cook, and two dark satellites of his whose features were unknown to us. About two hours after dinner, everything being ready, we took a short row in the cool of the evening.
The quarters, as many know, are situated on a slight elevation directly opposite the starting buoy. The Columbia quarters and boathouse are right across the river, and each crew can know, with but little trouble the movements of the other. The Yale quarters are about half a mile above ours, but their movements too can be observed to a certain extent with the aid of a glass. Our quarters are a great deal exposed to both sun and wind, but the broad veranda supplies shade, and shelter from the wind can always be found. The one large room up-stairs is entirely devoted to the purposes of a dormitory. Underneath it is the room, which serves as reading room, dining room and reception room. Separated from this by a passage not enclosed, is the kitchen. Everything is rough and nothing can be discovered of lath or plaster, but everything is comfortable and suitable, from the rough chimney in which we burn logs on cold evenings, to the rough pine table at which we dine, scrawled all over by the hands of visitors and interesting notes and comments.
The boathouse is at the foot of the incline on which the quarters are situated. There are the boats, with John Smith to watch over them, and most zealous watchman he is. Besides the new shell built by Waters, there is the old '82 shell ready for an emergency, and a pair oar or two. The boathouse is a comparatively venerable old building, having served for Bancroft's crews and been removed from its original situation. Both Columbia crews have arrived, but Yale has not yet made its appearance. The university crew of Columbia is much lighter than the one of last year, but rows in far better form and is undoubtedly much faster, at least for a short distance. The freshmen are a light, quick set of men, but do not row in good form, and one wonders that they get over the water as fast as they do. Both crews seem determined to make a good record.
On Saturday afternoon we were favored with a visit from the whole Columbia University, and had a very pleasant talk with them. Among the rest we noticed the familiar face of Mr. Reckhart, the veteran of the crew, and who, with his hundred and ninety 1bs. vastly overtops any of the rest of the crew. On Sunday the monotony of the quarters was broken by a visit to Mr. Hammond, on his hospitable invitation. thanks to Mr. Hammond and Dr. Borland, life at the quarters has been thus pleasantly varied on Sundays for the last two or three years. What everyone is waiting for now is to see the Yale crew. It is suspected that they are a strong and finely rowing set of men, and very little faith is put in interested reports intended to put the Harvard crew off its guard. But time will tell.