Sooooo, I've written about cayuco the last few days, and you might be interested to know more about it!
Picture from here.
Of course, my main source of information is wikipedia, which explains that a Panamanian cayuco is a "vessel carved from the trunk of a tree, used mainly, but not exclusively by the indigenous people of this country. In 1954, these vessels were adopted by the American Explorer Scouts of the former Panama Canal Zone to make the first Ocean to Ocean Cayuco Race across the Panama Canal, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean." I have made frinds with some people who grew up or lived part of their lives in the Panamal Canal Zone, and some of them participate in the "Ocean to Ocean" Cayuco race which is held annually in the April timeframe. Although I can't go to complete this year, I find that it is an AWESOME workoug and have been lucky to get the opportunicty to fill one of the four seats for practices when the main rowers can't participate.
Basically, the person in front sets the pace and the person in back steers. The third person generally rows on the same side as the first, and the second and fourth people row on the opposite side. The front person will count for a certain number of strokes (usually 10-20 depending on the pace), will call the switch, and then everyone takes one more stroke and changes sides. I find that my shoulders and biceps are pretty much on fire by the time each "switch" is mercifully called. Probably my technique is not great, but I guess being more inefficient is a better workout for the body, if not better for the overall speed of the boat =-)
Hopefully I'll get out on the water again next weekend.