Paddle Boating in DC

paddleboating on tidal basin washington dc

Kara and Natalie ready to head out

I’m just going to put it out there right now—I’m not a huge paddle boating fan. But sadly, my kids are, so whenever they see paddleboats they want to go. Paddleboats are just so much work to keep moving—give me a kayak instead. So for years I have avoided the paddleboats on the Tidal Basin, using many excuses—“We don’t have time”, “I don’t have money with me.”, “The line is too long.” or whatever I could come up with. But one windy, spring day, that all changed. There actually was no line, I had money and we had time. The only problem that day was that my knee was recovering from an exercise injury. So I tried that excuse, but the two daughters with me, Kara and Natalie, convinced me that they would do all of the paddling, so I wouldn’t hurt my knee any more. Thinking it through, I thought that would work—who wouldn’t pass up a boat ride where you just got to sit there. So we rented a boat and headed out into the Tidal Basin. Kara and Natalie were very enthusiastic and happy to finally have convinced me to do it. And it was beautiful out there, and very peaceful. Seeing the sites from a whole new perspective was a lot of fun. I started to regret that we hadn’t done this before. About half way across the Tidal Basin, the wind started to kick up, which made paddling a lot harder for Kara and Natalie.

We (I should say, they, with my encouragement) were determined to make it all the way across though, which we eventually did. By that time though, they were both ready to quit—and were sure that I was faking my knee injury just so I wouldn’t have to paddle. They didn’t quit –and we even made it back to the dock. It was a great day. We enjoyed being out on the water and doing something active. I know the paddling was hard for them, but they felt very accomplished that they had made it in the wind, without my help. And it’s something we still laugh about. And come to think of it, I haven’t heard them ask for a paddleboat ride since then… Here’s the info to rent a paddleboat on the Tidal Basin. Enjoy, and may you not have a windy day!

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