Today I was out in the canoe on Monongahela River I started out paddling up river, and there was a head wind. I noticed that when I got with in about 100 feet of a bridge the wind picked up. The current also seemed a bit stronger near the footing in the water. I was sitting in the back of a 17 foot fiberglass canoe which brought the nose up out of the water a bit. At one point just as I was about to pass under the bridge the wind caught the bow of the canoe and swung it around, as hard as I paddled to turn it I could not bring it back around without loosing position, I had to fall back to about 50 feet from the bridge to bring the bow/nose around and paddle hard keeping the nose into the wind to make it under. With in a few feet of passing under the bridge the canoe handled well again.
It seems like both wind and current are stronger near a bridge. What is the most ergonomic position and technique for paddling a canoe under a bridge?