This is my life. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Kayaking with Alligators...

I decided to take most of this past week off to head down to the beach.  (Of course, the dogs got excited when they saw me grab the travel crate...well, except for Hope.)  While out on one of my early morning walks/jogs, I walked past a shop that sells diving equipment and does diving tours.  I had always known it was there but never really paid the shop any attention.  This time I did.  I noticed they also had some kayaks outside by a canal that opened up into the lagoons.  This got me excited!  Lately, I have been feeling daring, or more spontaneous, or perhaps more adventurous.  I don't really know what I have been feeling.  (It must be the multivitamin that I have started to take...).  When I got back to the condo, I looked up their number and told them that I would be there in 1.5 hours!
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 long as I keep taking that multivitamin.  You Live, You Learn.


  1. So this 'guy' was not a tour guide??? He just let you pick your kayak and sent you on your way??? He probably knew better! What if you would have been eaten??? Tell me about that vitamin and I'll be sure not to take it.

  2. Anonymous-- Nope, no tour guide. He said to just have fun and to be back in about 3 hours ($25 for 3 hours). I was expecting him to jump in one and say follow me...but he didn't. They said they don't do kayaking tours. But, I had fun exploring. (It was a little confusing coming back. First, finding your way through the marsh, but then finding the right canal to go down to get back to the dive shop.) I even expected a map or something, but nope.
    HAHAHA about the multivitamin. It's just a regular Men's Multivitamin.

  3. If it were me, the kayak would have turned over through no fault of my own, and an alligator would have eaten me. In less than 5 minutes. So really, it would have been a waste of the $25 for three hours. But I'm glad you enjoyed it!!!

  4. Tat--I was extremely impressed that I didn't flip it over either. After kayaking, I read reviews on the kind that I was in and it has wonderful reviews about not tipping over easily. (Ocean Kayak Frenzy) Thank God!

  5. My first time here & the name The Water Bowl sounded so peaceful.....until I got to the alligators! I have to admit it sounds like loads of fun. ~Mary

  6. FrankandMary--The Water Bowl does have peaceful moments...but it some times has ripples :)
    Thanks for stopping by! Enjoy!