|The Chesapeake Awakens|
We met the group Sunday morning at the Under Armour facility and launched off a nearby dock. As I said above, I love paddling in Annapolis, but it was exciting to be padding someplace new and to be surrounded by the Baltimore skyline. The view of the Coast Guard Tall Ship Eagle and all of the other vessels from the water was outstanding.
Once in the Inner Harbor, the group sort of split up and everyone, or at least Sarah and I went off in different directions taking in all the ships and sights of Baltimore. It was fun exploring a new place to paddle. It was different. It was invigorating.
|Paddling in the shadow of Michael Phelps|
Tuesday night was my night to lead the East of Maui Group Paddle. I met a friend at the Maritime Museum and we paddled around to Horn Point Park to see if anyone else was joining us. We picked up another, and the three of us paddled upwind towards Annapolis Harbor.
I need to back up just a bit, my friend is Captain Jen. She probably spends more time on the water than anyone I know aboard one of her beautiful Schooners Woodwind and Woodwind II taking tourist and locals sailing on the Chesapeake. Jen is just getting into stand up. We had a bit of breeze and we had to work to paddle upwind. I about fell off my board laughing when Jen said " well... this gives me a whole new perspective on the wind". Keep in mind this is coming from someone very capable and confident sailing her 74 foot schooner in just about any wind just shy of a hurricane.
We paddled around Annapolis Harbor, under the draw bridge and headed up Spa Creek. Once again, Jen surprised me when she said " I had no idea there were this many boats on moorings up here". We were literally just around the corner from where she docks Woodwind, yet a short paddle on a stand up board had just opened up a whole new horizon for her to explore. Paddle on Capt. Jen!
|Captain Jen and Sarah paddling across the harbor, with Jen's Schooner Woodwind in the background.|
One of the greatest things about selling, teaching, and introducing people to SUP for almost 10 years is seeing the expressions on their faces the first time they feel the board glide across the water, or they see the Bay Bridge or City Dock from the deck of a board. For me, it is just another great day on the water, for them it is possibly a whole new way of life.
Whether you are paddling someplace for the first time, or paddling in your own backyard, every paddle stoke, every sunrise, every sunset has the potential to open new horizons. Get out there, go paddle, explore, open your eyes, expand your world.