Thursday, April 7, 2016

April 07, 2016 at 08:59AM by advodna_dave

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A right turn out of the narrow channel from the marina put us in a branch of water about 200 feet wide. The swamp was absolutely beautiful with turtles, egrets and cormorants everywhere, but of course, we were scanning for more alligators and quickly saw another hidden in some vegetation floating on the surface along the right bank. We moved in for a better view, and I mentioned to Ann that I would just follow that coastline closely so we could look for more. Now, they seemed like they were everywhere. Each time we looked closely, a scaly tail could be seen trailing out of some grass, the angle and length at which it expanded from a point forward toward the rest of the body the only clues as to the size of the monster. Beady eyes would spot us and then sink, the vegetation behind them waving as the tail below the surface the propelled their owner forward. Then THUMP and the boat below Ann’s seat was thrust and held six inches into the air. I gunned the engine, but it wouldn't budge. Threw it into reverse and did the same with no luck. While we were relieved to realize that it was just a submerged stump and not a pissed off prehistoric reptile, we still were in a bit of a situation. Turning the engine sharply and trying forward and reverse only succeeded in pivoting us around our high center point like a pinwheel. I tried one last burst and felt the boat move up and over the lump until the engine briefly tilted forward and then dropped, spitting a rooster tail of soggy wood chips and water behind us. It shouldn't have been too much of a surprise when @advodna_ann asked if she could drive, even if it meant keeping her free hand on the straps of Mae's life jacket. #seeyalateralligator #okeefenokeeswamp #okeefenokeenationalwildliferefuge #stephencfosterstatepark #adventuremoms