Sarasota: Where culture and nature share the stage
SARASOTA, Fla. – It is a still, hot day on Sarasota Bay as we slide our kayaks into the water. Too lazy to use our oars, we drift a little and watch the mullet jump while we wait for the last members of our tour to arrive. Suddenly a pelican swoops down and grabs a silvery fish, startling us.
We set off a few minutes later, seven of us with little or no kayaking experience. Kelly, our guide, points his oar in the direction he wants us to go, then stays in the middle of our disorganized pack, showing us how to paddle, how to turn and stop, calling out encouragement to whoever is trailing.
Kelly talks about the bay’s wildlife – the cormorants that are diving under our kayaks for fish, the sea urchins that would prick our feet if we tried to walk in the shallow water, the manatees that come and go with the seasons. As we pass bayfront mansions, Kelly also tells us about some of the famous people who live – or once lived – in them: Lucille Ball; Jerry Springer; Brian Johnson, the lead singer of AC/ DC.
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