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A public dock at Ladybird Lake.With each pull of the paddle, my board glides quietly, leaving ripples at its tail. As I move just past Morgan’s Point, at Belton Lake in Central Texas, the only sounds are the gentle plunk of each stroke and the subtle swish that moves me ahead. I approach a flock of American coots floating along the banks, looking apprehensive with their plump, round gray bodies and white beaks. As my board breaches their congregation, they run alongside me, slapping their feet at the surface of the water before lifting off in unison to land several hundred yards ahead. We do this dance a couple times, but then they settle with some safe distance along the sides of my board, allowing me to move ahead.For me,…

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