Childhood Sun, Sea, and Wind

Take either the short ferry from Port A. and drive down Mustang Island, or cross the Intracoastal Waterway from Corpus.  Take Park Road 22 south down Padre Island, passing by beachfront parks and condos and Bob Hall Pier.  Keep going until buildings disappear and sandy flat vegetation stretches out on either side.  Keep going as the road ribbons onward.  Keep going to the entrance to a little known national park, Padre Island National Seashore.

2016 Poker Run at Bird Island Basin

2016 Poker Run at Bird Island Basin

Pay your entrance fee, and keep a sharp watch out for the first turn westward, away from the Gulf and the pounding surf.  A short drive, a cluster of cars, then  you see colorful sails dancing like butterflies across the water.  The sailboard rigs fill the water as they skim, race, flutter, flip, and tip.

Welcome to one of the best windsurfing spots in the world: Bird Island Basin.

I spent some time there as a teenager, although I barely achieved amateur status.  The weather was always windy, and I learned fast the benefits of a hat and sunscreen in that fierce Texas sun. We kept salt tablets with our water (this was before the age of Gatorade).  Wrestling our monstrosity of board and sail was not easy for two teenage girls.   Yet, that moment when your board starts to plane, when you start to fly across the water, was one of the best memories of my childhood.

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