Three of us, Gus, Eric, John paddled an up and back from Point of Rocks in sea kayaks this afternoon. The Potomac is flatwater here but at a moderate level, 4.1', 13000 cfs, it was a push. The benefit of the straight line speed of touring boats was limited by their lack of maneuverability. Paddling up the slack water behind a rock or debris pile then jogging around the obstacle at the top often got you pushed wide into fast current. It was easier to zig zag diagonally up river than it was to catch the tail of an eddy directly upstream.
We generally attained the Maryland side through the snow covered islands upstream of the Rt 15 bridge and returned on the Virginia side. We saw juvenile eagles and a red tailed hawk and periodically displaced a gaggle of Canada Geese. The buds on the maples were noticeably swollen. It was fun to catch eddies and do big S turns across current in the big swoopy boats while headed home.
Weather was mid thirties, bright sun, no wind. Attaining is more energetic than floating downstream and we were all shedding gear on the upstream leg. Our sense of how rough and tough we were, paddling in the snow in February was dulled by the arrival of two SUPers while we were loading boats.
It felt good to stretch out. A fine day on the water.