Paddling the Potomac for canoe safety


AWS staff and interns get ready to head out onto the Potomac.

On Wednesday, AWS staff and interns participated in an American Canoe Association safety training on the Potomac River.  We feel this is an important certification for anyone who will be leading canoe trips on the Anacostia.  The workshop was lead by Byron Bradley, a certified canoe safety instructor who is also the founder of “Come Out and Play! Adventures”, an outdoor adventure sports company.

We hitched up our trailer of canoes and headed over to Old Angler's Inn where we launched the boats just below Great Falls.  We began the day with an overview of the basics including steering, turning and canoe terminology.  After lunch, things got a little more exciting!  We practiced our newly improved skills by paddling against the current.  We then moved into how to successfully perform a canoe rescue.  Byron timed us while we worked in teams to rescue capsized canoes one by one.  Then, he had us all flip our boats over at the same time and we had to figure out the best strategy for saving everyone.

In addition to learning many important paddling techniques, we enjoyed spending the day together on the other river that flows through DC!  The scenery was beautiful and the rocks set a dramatic background for our informative day on the river.  We even saw some herons, turtles and a small deer, making us feel like we were back on the Anacostia.

All in all, it was a fun and informative day out on the water and a second day of training is scheduled for next week!

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