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Washington D.C. - A city thriving and suffering at the hands of advancement and humanity

Sometimes, the deviation from a plan reveals the most unexpected treasures!

We had reservations at The Yards Marina, but arrived a day early so we stopped at National Harbor Marina on the Potomac River because... well, it looked fun. It was!

New, innovative, high energy, and a bit edgy, it was a complete contrast to the meandering seaside ports we had visited over the past weeks.

Ribboned by a large waterfront park which offers a smorgasbord of tasteful entertainment, you can stroll the boulevard, ride the large carousel, or simply relax in the park while enjoying ice cream. Yum! By night, there was popcorn, outdoor concerts, and movies.

Most impressive to me was the modern architectural elements accented by bronze art sculptures. Check out this amazing five-piece sculpture in the sand by J. Seward Johnson called The Awakening.

Right!? Pretty cool!

After a day of fun, we proceeded up the Anacostia River to the Yards Marina where we had reserved a slip earlier in the month.

Oh my, Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore! It immediately became visible we were near a big city. The marina was new, fun, and in an exciting part of town, but the pollution robbed it of its beauty and intrigue.

As we approached, the horizon looked like the swim portion of a bobble-head triathlon; plastic heads bouncing up and down, crashing into chucks of splintered wood, all fighting to get somewhere! I had never witnessed pollution at this level and very honestly, I was deeply saddened.

We settled in for the evening listening to the waters movement pound chunks of debris up against the boat. It was a long and troubling night so we both awoke early.

Tad went for his morning run as I sat in the cockpit sipping my coffee while watching a large boat move up and down the water as if scanning for something. At closer view I realized it was the Department of Marine Ecology (read about the clean-up efforts here) pulling in large nets of litter.

I couldn’t sit still and watch.

Yep, Tad returned from his run to find me pulling all sorts of debris from the waters. “What the heck are you doing, and are those my new BBQ tongs”, he questioned with a slight tone of accusation. “I’m doing my little bit to make the world a better place, and yep, these are your tongs”, I said with a smile while slapping them open and closed like a crocodile. While he wasn’t’ thrilled about the misuse of his precious grilling tool, he came back with large garbage bags and helped me gather the litter.

I had read about the plastic pollution problem in our oceans, but until you see it first hand, it’s difficult to truly understand the magnitude of destruction. What we witnessed in D.C. was beyond plastic, it was the reveal of a careless humanity.

It's puzzling to me how we can be aware, but unattached to issues which we have not witnessed for ourselves. I must be more aware.

Ending on a happy note, the best part of our visit to Washington DC was spending time with Tad's son, Tim and his beautiful wife, Dana! They are expecting their first child in early December and they both glowed with joy.


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