Happy Father’s Day!
At my parents for a few days at the beach in Florida, their neighbor, JJ, invited me to go out for another morning on the water. We Paddle Boarded in the Atlantic Ocean a day ago and decided to kayak this morning. Kayaking in the Atlantic was a first for both of us and it included a few heart-stopping moments.
We started out before 8 am to avoid the thunderstorms that were predicted later. It was a gorgeous morning! We had the ocean to ourselves, or so we thought!
One thing I determined while paddling, I need a pedicure! But who cares, it was a beautiful morning with calm seas.After paddling for a while, JJ spotted a couple of sea turtles. I made a video, but other than the view, I don’t think you can see much.
We paddled towards them and then figured the sea turtles had moved on. They hadn’t. A couple of minutes later, they moved right under my kayak, while mating, and as they disengaged, the mama sea turtle pushed up the front of my kayak. I wish JJ had a camera! I screamed “Fxck!” (sorry mom), dropped my paddle and JJ said I started to stand up, pushing away from my kayak. I have NO IDEA WHAT I WAS DOING – I can’t believe I didn’t tip over! Wondering what mating Sea Turtles look like? Check out this video.
After ‘laughing it off’ and breathing slowly to get my heart rate down, we paddled on. We hardly noticed how far out we were until we saw a huge splash to the right of us. Later, we found out it might have been a manta ray jumping. It looked like this (but we only saw the big splash).
We quickly paddled closer to the shore! I’m brave, but not that brave. This little video was recorded soon after the brush with the sea turtles.
A few minutes later, I exclaimed “Oh! A dolphin!”. JJ turned and looked; and we watched to see it come up again. It didn’t. Then I said “Wait, does a dolphin have a fin in the middle and a couple at the end?” JJ wasn’t laughing because A SHARK had probably gone by within 10 feet of her!
After sitting there for a minute, we figured the shark (maybe a bull or lemon shark) was checking us out and it might be time to hit the shore. We paddled in and made a safe landing in the sand. What a morning of stories we had and it was barely 10 am!
I was thankful JJ was calm throughout it all and kept a good sense of humor. Looking back, I can’t believe I didn’t SCREAM when I realized it was a shark. This wasn’t my usual kayaking trip. Please understand there weren’t a lot of sharks growing up in Mascoutah, Illinois – 30 minutes from the Mississippi River!
We walked to the pool and put the kayaks down. We decided we better stick to water aerobics with the Lighthouse Cove Crew, at least the rest of the day.
PS Later I went down to beach walk and to look for sea glass and took a bunch of snaps ON SHORE! Enjoy!
Why Travel, Cooking and DIY? A creative type, I have always loved painting and decorating as a hobby. Upcycling is a real passion. My mom was a Home Ec teacher when we were growing up. I learned a lot from her and because I love hosting get-togethers, I had to step up my game in the kitchen as well. And lastly, my love of travel comes from my Grandma Schmitt.
An Illinois native, I worked in the White House Communications Agency early in my career (President Reagan), prior to returning to Illinois State University to finish my undergraduate and Master's. After a couple of post-graduate internships (minor league baseball and Big Ten Conference), I then worked in college athletics full-time for more than 22 years -- first at the University of South Carolina for 15 years and then at Santa Clara University for the last seven years. We moved to Tampa, Florida in Dec., 2016 after spending 8.5 years in Northern California.