Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Making Lemonade

Hurricane Gustav ruined quite a few Labor Day weekends on the Gulf Coast, but here in St. Petersburg we only had a few hours of pounding rain and wind Sunday afternoon.

By Monday morning only the wind remained. It made it a fairly challenging day to go sea kayaking--the minute we left the sheltered bayou and went out into open water, it was like paddling through tar. It really wasn't all that windy, but when the gusts combined with choppy seas, it took some real elbow grease to get back to our little inlet.

On our way out of Fort DeSoto County Park, we saw some kites off in the distance. We were about five miles away at the time, and without my glasses I thought they were just ordinary kites. I haven't flown a kite in many years and was excited about seeing some families spending their Labor Day together flying kites at the beach.

When we got closer we realized it was a makeshift kite surfing convention. At one time I counted 18 boards skimming across the surf. I overheard a couple of guys complaining that the wind had died down since earlier in the morning, but they seemed to be cruising along just fine to me.

Walking among the kites and watching guys fight with their equipment, I briefly saw the frustrations associated with surfing. But all the cables and nylon disappeared when I looked out and saw the rainbow of sails reflected in the blue water with the Sunshine Skyway as their backdrop. It was a colorful surprise on an otherwise cloudy day.

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