Cherry Blossom Paddle

Lots of amateurs and tourists will see the cherry blossoms on Saturday, but those with their priorities straight can see them during the week.

If the weather is bad or the blooms are late, we'll postpone this to Friday April 11 -- or the following week if necessary. This will be a leisurely, gaze-and-take-photos paddle. We'll head across the Potomac and then circle around Hains Point into Washington Channel, so we can see even more cherry blossoms. If we go all the way up Washington Channel and then return, our round-trip distance will be about 9 miles. We could head upriver afterwards, which would involve more distance.

I'll update weather info, but plan to wear a wetsuit or drysuit. The water is still cold.

Remember that you can only get to the Columbia Island Marina from the SOUTHBOUND George Washington Parkway.  Do NOT rely on GPS to get you there. Follow these directions: http://www.columbiaisland.com/directions.htm

Plan to arrive at 10:00 am so that we can launch by 10:30 am.

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  • Aht

    Thank you for a great paddle! Thanks everybody for putting up with me, especially Darrick!

    1 · April 10, 2014

  • Ben

    It was a great paddle! Thank you Andy for organizing it and thank you Marc for leading it!

    1 · April 10, 2014

  • A J D.

    Double thanks to Darrick and Brian. I would not have made it without you!

    1 · April 10, 2014

  • Marc

    Thanks Darrick and Brian for all your help!

    April 9, 2014

  • Marc

    A lot of the Yoshino Cherry Blossoms were in bloom today. It should be great for the next few days.

    April 9, 2014

  • DJ-2011

    Hope you that all had a great time and enjoyed the scenery. As I mentioned to Marc this morning, I was unable to be there due to an extended commitment that lasted until 1pm. Season's just begun, so looking forward to paddle with you all soon. :)

    1 · April 9, 2014

  • DJ-2011

    The weathers looks
    good now. lit improved a lot down to 8-12 mph w/gusts to 22mph. That's basically a typical spring day, plus it's sunny.. :)

    April 9, 2014

  • Kristine S.

    Unfortunately, I have had a change in plans and will not be able to join you tomorrow. Have a great paddle. Will catch you on future trips.

    April 8, 2014

  • DJ-2011

    Fyi: low tide at the DC waterfront is 10am. NW Winds are forecasted to range from 13-15mph w/gusts up to 23mph. At low tide, I would expect a modest fetch starting from Chain Bridge as it ebbs down to Columbia Marina by the launch time at 10:30. Also, expect the chop to be higher than expected, especially on the return trip since the flow up the will build against the NW winds. On both legs there should be following seas, but also confusing waves along the sea wall towards Hains Pt. The VA side would be much calmer. Perhaps you can paddle on the VA first, then cross to Hains Pt, since the winds are predicted to subside by afternoon.

    April 8, 2014

    • DJ-2011

      Just an assessment; but to convert kts to mph, just multiply (knot X 1.15). Having paddled along Hains Pt a few times, large and fast moving yachts south of the 14St bridge tend to create large wakes with short periods. The chop would tend to enhance it while bouncing off the sea wall then onto your boat. It's fun, and good way to practice Just an assessment; but to convert kts to mph, just multiply (knot X 1.15). Having paddled along Hains Pt a few times, large and fast moving yachts/powerboats south of the 14St bridge tend to create large wakes with short periods. No real speed limit, unless they're recklass. The chop would tend to enhance it while bouncing off the sea wall then onto your boat. It's fun, and good way to practice bracing. ;) The powerboats would slow down to 5mph north of the Memorial Bridge to Georgetown.

      April 8, 2014

    • Marc

      I don't think that the Potomac is straight and wide enough above Hains Pt for the wind to have enough fetch to create large waves. I think southerly wind would be more a concern and would produce bigger waves when combined with the river current and tidal flow. Thus, the NWS forecast is for waves 1 ft or less. Also, with NNW wind, it would be better to paddle on the DC side on the way out and back.

      April 8, 2014

  • Aht

    10 o'clock meeting time or launch time? I plan to leave Baltimore by 8, hopefully nobody will have to wait for me. I have your phone number, Marc.

    April 8, 2014

    • Marc

      Andy usually means arrival time when he sets up an event. Let's plan to do that and launch by 10:30 am. Considering the morning rush hour, I think this would be easier for most people.

      April 8, 2014

    • Aht

      That is much better! See you!

      April 8, 2014

  • Rita

    So sorry, something has come up and I will be unable to paddle with you tomorrow. But that leaves a spot open for someone else!

    April 8, 2014

    • Aht

      Are you okay, Rita? I was hoping to paddle with you!!

      April 8, 2014

    • Aht

      Glad you found your phone. Where was it?

      April 8, 2014

  • Lisa

    I had no idea the water was going to be that rough, Marc. Thanks for the warning.

    April 8, 2014

  • A J D.

    Live in Springfield, 4th year paddling. A bit of a wuss when it comes to very rough water but never really happier than when I'm in a boat.

    April 8, 2014

    • Marc

      See you AJ! We'll stay close together.

      April 8, 2014

  • dianne

    I do not own a kayak . Is there anyplace to rent one for this trip?
    Thanks.
    Dianne

    April 8, 2014

    • Andy

      Even if you rented a kayak somewhere and brought it to the launch site, you would also need a wetsuit or drysuit.

      April 8, 2014

    • Marc

      That section of the Potomac will be rough given the weather conditions. So unless the kayak is a SOT, you'll need a skirt. You also need wet exit an rescue skills.

      April 8, 2014

  • Marc

    Over the last 24 hrs, the water temperature in the Washington Channel was between[masked] F. If it stays the same, everyone must at least have a wetsuit on. The NWS is now calling for NW wind 10-14 mph with gusts as high as 24 mph. If this comes true, this would make for a challenging paddle back to Columbia Island marina.

    April 7, 2014

  • Andy

    I have a meeting at my brokerage, but Marc has graciously agreed to lead the group. Enjoy!

    April 7, 2014

  • James H.

    Andy, count me out, my work is having a good bye lunch for an outgoing manager & I guess I need to attend this...

    April 6, 2014

    • Marc

      They're going upstream instead of downstream.

      April 7, 2014

    • Marc

      Watersedge is paddling around West Potomac Park also but they are launching from Gravelly on Saturday.

      April 7, 2014

  • Ann o

    Do they have rental kayaks?

    April 5, 2014

  • Brian S.

    Thank you Andy...I'll bring a big broom. whats the old political saying...a new broom sweeps clean. i'll be the crusty old broom.

    April 4, 2014

  • Brian S.

    if schedule allows, and waitlist permitting, I'd like to join youall. I'd be happy to be the sweep guy... put me to work.

    April 3, 2014

    • Andy

      Bring your broom!

      April 3, 2014

  • Marc

    The paddle to the end of Washington Channel and back is around 9 miles, not 6 miles. :)

    March 25, 2014

    • Andy

      Thanks for that correction.

      March 25, 2014

  • Marc

    I hope we can make this.

    March 25, 2014

  • Ann o

    Do they have rental kayaks?

    March 25, 2014

    • Andy

      No; sorry.

      March 25, 2014

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