Against the Wind
Friends visiting from Ohio wanted an aquatic adventure, and since we all could use a little exercise, we decided to go kayaking. My husband and I remembered having seen a small marina with boat and kayak rentals near Turtle Beach on south Siesta Key. After making a few phone calls, we headed out to Bayfront Excursions, where we met Sarah.
Sarah took good care of us. For only $30 a person, we had our kayaks for four hours. Loading us up with life jackets and paddles, Sarah gently pushed us off, and we found ourselves in the middle of the sublime Little Sarasota Bay. With the aid of a small map, we headed toward a mangrove island, circling around and eventually gliding through narrow channels where we could tie up and float. We watched a Great Blue Heron stalk prey along the shoreline and then lift off and soar over us and out of the mangroves — a stunning sight. Further exploring took us around osprey nests and by secluded beaches. We could see downtown in the distance on one side of the bay, charming restaurants and extravagant homes on the other. All was perfect.
Until we headed home. The wind coming out of the west had accelerated; our return was northwest. A chop had built up, and even the seagulls battled the gusts. With each paddle dip, we went nowhere. We were losing traction, which actually isn’t so bad in 80 degree weather with radiant sunshine. We laughed, floated backwards, and eventually got our sea arms geared up, making slow but steady progress. We finally arrived safely back at the marina.
Now I understand why they gave us four hours. 🙂 All in all, it was just another day in paradise.
The Sarasota Spectator
Our Sarasota Spectator is Betsy Miller, a retired high school teacher and college professor. Originally from Columbus, Betsy has fallen in love with the Gulf Coast of Florida, especially Sarasota. Blogging about the area has been a creative outlet for the writer, opening up an avenue of exploration. You may find the bon vivant enjoying happy hour at a tiki bar, shopping on historic Main Street, or seated at a concert or show at a local theater. Chances are you also might find her buried in a book on one of our beautiful beaches. Asked to give one word about her feelings for Sarasota, Betsy replied, “Smitten.”