Today, I started training for dragon boat paddling. It was magnificent. We met at the Little River Cafe downtown near the Willamette River. I introduced myself to a few people as a newby, and managed to piece together enough information to get started. Everyone was very nice and helpful.
Once seated in my practice boat, I kept my ears open for Carolina’s instructions. She was our caller. However, I kept my eyes on Peg, who was the woman seated in front of me. (That was what I was suppoed to do.) I followed Peg’s lead. She is experienced, and a good example to follow.
We rowed out along Ross Island. It was surreal to be out on the water making a team effort at that beautiful early-morning hour. We paddled by a crane rookery and say blue herons and their offspring, which was a thrill for this nature lover. We were surrounded by beautiful trees and nature, but in an urban environment…so we paddled under two freeways and could see the downtown skyscrapers.
The workout was good. To paddle, you have to extend one leg, tuck in the other leg, and turn from the waste, and you bury the paddle straight down into the water and pull with your core. Many instructions that are easy to confuse!
Soon, I will be ready to train for the dragon boat races, an iternational festival that is celebrated in Portland each year. Here is a little video of our launch spot and what the festival looks like. This was from five years ago: