I have kayaked in the salt marshes off North Carolina and canoed down several rivers on Florida’s west coast, but I have never kayaked in the Gulf off our own beaches! So when a friend invited me to meet her for a kayak trip taking off from her Indian Rocks Beach house, I said, “I’m there!” We launched the kayak at about 9:00 a.m. and already there were many people out. Most were walking. Some were fishing. It soon became clear that something in the water close to the shore was attracting a lot of attention. It turned out to be stingrays. The orange tape surrounding two turtles’ nests on shore was clearly visible from the water. The early morning storms we saw on radar off shore were moving in. The wind picked up and we saw the dark clouds, lightning, and heard thunder. So we decided to cut our trip short. Within 15 minutes of our return, it was pouring rain. I rarely go boating, so cruising down the shore in a kayak, as opposed to driving down Gulf Blvd. was a fun diversion.