|Holding my paddle boat as the Chez Nous motored away from National Harbor|
Yes, the soothing sounds of Lennon, McCartney beckoned me again. From Jones Point Park near the venerablet Woodrow Wilson Bridge, I paddled my way again to National Harbor and the vibrant Abbey Road on the River.
But when I cleared the bridge, the surf started to pick up considerably. I had sustained winds of 15 knots gusting to 25. It was a struggle to maintain my distance from the pier, so in order to enjoy the music, I had to keep on working.
After half an hour, I was ready to head back to Old Towne. I seriously considered beaching my boat at National Harbor and catching a cab back.
But I pushed on and was making considerably good headway despite the strong headwinds. One method was head upwind on the right paddle and sideways on the left paddle.
Before long, a motor yacht named "Chez Nous" came by to "rescue me." I waived the boat away and informed them that I was having fun and would be home in 45 mins or less.
But the Captain insisted that I be picked up and towed to Old Towne. I got the impression that they really wanted to "rescue me." Sometimes, despite the reality, it's good to be a team player, so I agreed.
We first started with a simple tow. I grabbed the line but as the boat started to turn, my paddle boat flipped over and I twisted my arm trying to recover. Now I was "up the creek without a paddle" and an injured arm.
Note: The incident actually pulled a muscle in my arm resulting in frequent muscle spasms in my sleep
Next my bag and shoes went overboard which we quickly fetched. So now it seemed the attempt was futile. I started paddling on my own, but once again the Captain insisted I come aboard. This time we would tow the paddle boat via the leash while I rode onboard. This seemed to work and I was impressed by the strength of the leash and fitting.
Meanwhile as the air started to cool considerably, the wind started to die down dramatically.
So the tow sent me a small distance just under the bridge while I enjoyed a cold Corona chatting to Barbara, Graham and Darrell. After talking with them, it appeared that they thought that I was windsurfing and lost my sail, so I was paddling back in distress. I informed them that paddling is what I do and I actually like large waves and strong winds -- I get a big thrill and a great workout all in one. Sometimes it's important to understand the other person's position before we jump into conclusions.
The tow was fun and I made new friends. It's not about being right, it's about being supportive. Sometimes, being a team player is better than being insistent. I'm glad I got rescued.