The highway 27 bridge on the Catawba River has been my goal since I started paddle boarding at the Whitewater Center a few weeks ago. It’s 1.75 miles from the dock. And then back.

It was a great day to be on the river. Overcast, slightly breezy, with Nora Jones playing on my
iPhone. Couldn’t have been better. I made it to the bridge and headed back. Another 1.75 miles.

Then a pontoon boat blasted by sending tsunami waves at me. I didn’t stand a chance.  Pun intended.

I stumbled backwards off the board, my iPhone in its Lifeproof floating case went flying off, the life jacket that I wasn’t wearing and my water thermos scattered. And after a few blinks, I was sure that my contacts had washed out. All while the paddle board floated in the opposite direction.

Drowning only flashed across my mind briefly. I knew that I could float on my back for hours and miles. I gathered up my accessories (my phone wasn’t hard to find in its orange case and blaring Al Green; although in spite of my setback I wasn’t tired of being alone).

The board was still scooting off in the opposite direction and while I could float on my back for hours, I needed to float to it quicker than it floated away.

I must have been a sight for anyone watching. A fish jumped nearby. I think he was the only living creature paying me any attention.

I finally retrieved the board and flopped onto it. It occurred to me that wearing the life jacket might be a good idea now. The remainder of the voyage was peaceful and without drama. I made it back to the dock completing the 3.5 mile round trip.

I like to look for life lessons in these little adventures. The only one I could discern today was that this much paddle boarding sure makes a person hungry.

I really enjoyed the cheeseburger from the Pump House Biergarten.

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