As I mentioned when I started this blog, I got interested in dragon boating in large part because I live on the water. My kitchen looks out over one of the many Alameda marinas which provides a source of entertainment while I’m doing the dishes.
One Sunday morning, while I’m making my tea next to the sink and enjoying the morning off, I see a dragon boat go by. A dragon boat! In my own marina. Outside my window. How could that be? It wasn’t Renegades from Oakland, and it wasn’t Cal’s boat. It was just some mystery dragon boat tooling around the marina.
I couldn’t wait until our next practice to see if I could unravel this mystery. So next Saturday I casually mentioned to coach Sue that I had seen a dragon boat in my neighborhood. Her response was, “Oh, that was us.”
Now I was really confused. It wasn’t my ‘us’. My ‘us’ was making tea in the kitchen. Sue’s response was so casual, it seemed wrong to follow-up. So I let it go. But later I inquired, who did she mean by us. The answer only solicited more questions. She said something about Mark and Thara, who I had never heard of, having their own boat now.
Unbeknownst to me, I had stumbled into a quagmire of dragon boat politics with the discovery of Mark and Thara’s boat. I just wanted to figure out how I could get on that boat at least once so I could paddle by my house.
But my early ambitions to avoid dragon boat drama were slowly evaporating before my eyes. My commitment to remain above the fray of any dragon boat politics was quickly overwhelmed by my burning desire to fid this boat and convince Mark and Thara (whoever they were) to let me come for a paddle.