On Sunday morning in the Sunshine State, we finally got some sun. So we did something I’ve been wanting to do – we drove to a state park at the edge of an island to go kayaking through the mangroves.
The weather forecast called for more thunderstorms and isolated tornadoes. Signs at the entrance to the park warned “Boat trips cancelled.” But the young man at the kayak rental place squinted at the sky, shrugged his shoulders, and handed us life jackets. My husband, in an optimistic move, put on sunscreen.
Despite the rising wind, the sun was still shining as we paddled past a marina and then into a creek that wound through a maze of mangroves. I kept leaving the main channel to follow smaller creeks, ducking my head to fit the kayak under the branches. The sun shone down through the branches, a greenish filtered light. As I looked at the branches over my head, I wondered if snakes lived in mangrove trees. That’s the cool thing about exploring far from home: you don’t know what to expect. Having a snake drop onto my shoulders from overhead would have been terrifying, but it would have made a great story.
We paddled through the mangroves, happily lost, until my husband looked at his watch and said, “I think we’re supposed to get the kayaks back.” We wound our way back through the little creeks and into the main channel. By then the weather was changing, and we had to paddle hard to fight the wind. We made it back to the kayak rental just as the rain began.