I get there, but had to wait because there were customers in the store and the other store associate had gone to the post office. Finally, after an excruciating 5 or 10 minutes, I was outside picking out the kayak that I wanted to ride in. Now mind you, I have never, ever, ever kayaked before. Nor have I ever, ever, ever paddled a boat before. Nor have I ever, ever, ever wanted to be in water where my feet couldn't touch the bottom. (More specifically...I'm 6 feet tall, so I would prefer the water to not be higher than 4 feet tall...5 feet would be pushing it...). Nor have I ever, ever, ever wanted to be in water where I couldn't see straight down to the bottom so I could make sure nothing was going to bite me or that I was going to step on something.
I ask the guy, "Is there anything special I need to know about this?" To which he replied, "Nope, not really." (That was it?!?! He wasn't going to tell me the do's and don'ts? Or, if you do this you will die?!?! None of that?) I then asked, "Ummm...what if I fall out?" He said, "You better hope like Hell you can get back in the kayak before a gator gets you." (My sunburnt skin turned pale white.) He continued, "If you fall in and make a big splash, a gator is gonna wanna investigate. Especially if it's a momma gator." My next question was, "And just how deep is the water?" He replied, "It's mostly less than 3 or 4 feet deep; however, there are holes out there that are 6 feet deep." I turned away from him and had a conversation in my head... "Well, the good news is that I can handle the water depth. However, the bad news is the water depth is too shallow. If I do fall out, yes, I can just stand up and get back in the kayak easily. However, this means that the gators are NOT far, far, far down in the water. Nope. They are right there under my kayak. They can bite the kayak bottom, and I will fall out. Or, they can easily grab my paddle, yank, and there I will be staring eye to eye with a gator. Oh my my my. It's all good. If the water is shallow then I should be able to see an alligator well in advance and try to get away from him. That's a good question..." I turn back to the guy and ask, "What do I do if I see an alligator?" He dryly said, "You will find out who is faster...a guy in a kayak or an alligator." I nervously laughed. He continued, "Honestly, if you see one, get away from him but don't do it in a hysterical way which will make the alligator want to investigate you...or maybe it would scare him away...your call."
And with that, I was off. No cellphone (I didn't want it to get water damaged because I knew I would fall out of the kayak since I have never done it before), no GPS unit to find my way around the lagoon or better yet to find my way back, no flare gun to catch people's attention if I needed help...nothing. I start paddling and sure enough, the water wasn't deep. I kept looking at the murky water and wondering if there was a gator close by. I also kept sticking my paddle in the water to see how deep it was. I didn't see any alligators on my trip, but I did see where they liked to travel in the marsh land. (You can see the tall grass laid over from where they keep walking over it.) Surprisingly, I didn't even see a snake. Thank God! I just knew a snake was going to get inside the kayak because there were 4 good sized holes in the bottom to allow for water drainage.
A snake never popped his head up into of the kayak's holes, nor did I ever see an alligator, nor did I ever fall out of the kayak. I did get to see a lot of murky water and a lot of birds. I had a ton of fun. I think I will be back to rent another kayak the next time I'm down there...as long as I keep taking that multivitamin. You Live, You Learn.