Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Evening Kayak in DC

Saturday afternoon I drove down to DC to meet up with a group to kayak on the Potomac late afternoon into the evening. You can rent or put in your own boat here but because I didn't know the boat yard and because the rental was so cheap I decided not to load up Big Red and opted for the easy option. I had to park about half mile away in a garage enforcing my notion that I'd chosen wisely. Since I had a walk to the boats and was early I climbed up the hill into town and got a wonderful cheese and veggie wrap from SweetGreen, the best and healthiest fast food eatery in Georgetown. I then strolled back down over the canal to where Bob, our leader, was waiting. A few others had got there early too so we sat on chairs and watched other boaters come and go.
 Apparently Jackie Kennedy used to come down here with her entourage and be rowed across to Roosevelt Island where she would picnic.About half a mile upstream from here are the Three Sister Islands, where, according to old lore, 3 catholic nuns drowned and were resurrected as islands. There is a point here that is 78ft deep, the deepest part of the river.
Soon it was our time to select a boat and get into the water. I'd had every intention of picking out the longest sleekest kayak I could find but ended up on the spur of the moment choosing an old yellow boat with blue pinstripes that looked as if it was from the 90's. But it was very comfortable and matched my PFD perefectly, which I had to wear today being a regulation on the Potomac.
One poor dog having to pull his owner and friend back to the dock because they'd run out of paddling power.
 Soon everyone was in the water and we were off.
 But Bob decided to order a pizza for delivery before we left, asking for it to be lowered from Key Bridge.
 The Kennedy Center looking resplendent in the sun. The weather was perfect. I've been crowing all week about my thorough soakings the past two weekends and saying of course I would not be surprised if it rained again this weekend since most things happen in threes, but the sky was clear and bright except for a few fluffy clouds,  a hot sun blazed down and a lovely breeze fanned us across the water. Perfick!
The Watergate Hotel and apartments, the Washington DC swathed in its protective scaffolding while it's being repaired after the earthquake and the Lincoln Memorial. This really is a great way to see the monuments. But we couldn't go too far downstream and weren't allowed past the Arlington Memorial Bridge since the Pentagon is down there. No boats are allowed past since 9/11.
Being in DC there wasn't a lot of wildlife but as we went around Roosevelt Island we saw a heron searching desperately for a fish, and a few ducks. That was it.
 Roslyn, and Georgetown in the distance.
 Looking back downriver.
Bobbing about just below the Three Sisters some of us were chatting and saying what a lovely leisurely paddle it had been.
We started slowly heading back to the dock when someone commented, "Hey, look, a rainbow!" I whipped out my camera to grab a shot and thought, aren't you supposed to have rain with a rainbow, just as I felt two large plops land on my face and arm. I barely had time to pack my camera away before the sky suddenly erupted into thunder and emptied a torrent of warm rain down upon us. I wasn't even surprised. There was no hope of getting out of my boat dry so I just laughed and sat back, accepting my third soaking in three weeks. We all clambered out dripping from our kayaks and after eating my dinner on a wet bench with the others it was off home to get a hot shower and dry off. This is becoming a routine...
If you have time for a read, here's the history of Jack's Boathouse, now known as Key Bridge Boathouse since the government took it over:

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