1. That’s me off to the right.

    Last Sunday I went on a 7.2-mile paddle board trip.

    If it sounds intense that’s because it sounds intense. In reality, it was challenging, but not grueling as I feared it might be. (The night before I had called MR in a panic, unsure I could do the trip — he gently talked me into it.)

    BH picked me up at 6:30am in her sparkling blue bikini and off we went to try out our balance and stamina on an oversized surfboard. We started out at the Naples Pier and paddled about three miles on the Gulf, along the shore and front yards of the sprawling houses of Port Royal, and then made the turn into Gordon Pass, where the Naples coast seemingly terminates forever.

    The vantage point from the board allows for more wildlife veiwig than on a boat, swimming or sitting on the couch. A manatee swam right under my board. Sea turtles, dolphins and sharks were close, too.

    We paddled along the channel for another four miles and somewhere during that stretch I was pulled over by Marine Patrol. It was like being pulled over while walking. When this giant boat slowed down beside me, I was dwarfed by its size… like a tug boat alongside a jumbo cargo ship. When he put his lights on, I nearly laughed out loud. Apparently we all needed life vests and whistles, or $90 ticket, which we thankfully managed to avoid, would be issued.

    Three and a half hours of straight paddling later, we arrived, strong and accomplished, at our destination: a dock-side restaurant with a make-your-own Bloody Mary bar.

    By noon I was warmly drunk and looking forward to the next paddle, this Friday at midnight.