Thursday, July 8, 2010

Big gator keep on floating ... away!

Another steamy day lay ahead of us, and without a long cooling off period at mid-day that can lead to a late night. We learned that after our Space Center adventure slowed us to a crawl during the afternoon hours the day before.

We had managed to extend the day by slipping out after dinner for a quick visit to the beach. There our Ozzie friends shook their heads in amazement that our Florida boys are even able to surf the wimpy waves that lap the eastern shore of Florida. (I didn't tell them about the Gulf coast!)  During a cruise surfside through Satellite Beach, I pointed out houses the early astronauts stayed in while awaiting a "go for launch" message. Then we shopped at the "World Famous" Ron Jon's Surf Shop in Cocoa Beach. Even I was impressed anew at the cool store and its seemingly unlimited supply of any and everything beach.
We decided to head straight for the action this bright morning. Unfortunately, in the headlong rush to get going, I wrapped the 3rd and 4th toes of my right foot firmly around the leg of an imposingly sturdy dining room chair.  Owie!!!

My toes firmly strapped in place we took off for a real Florida excursion: an airboat ride in the alligator infested waters of the St. John's River. Arriving at 10am hungry, we were surprised to learn that the dock-side cafe doesn't serve breakfast. Undeterred, we ordered substitutes: cheeseburger, clam chowder and catfish sandwich respectively and ate them while witnessing the first gator of the day cruise across the river straight toward us. He was huge and probably attracted to the big large mouth bass being landed on the dock outside the cafe where we were eating. 

We were told that during the summer it was important to be on the water early as the alligators (and anyone with good sense) would head for the cooler deep waters as soon as the day began to heat up. We were on the 2nd boat out at 10:15am and luck was with us.

Within minutes of putting on our sound-suppressing earphone (works surprisingly well) the boat stopped and we saw a huge gator cruising toward us. Curiosity kept him afloat until someone in the boat stood up to take a picture. That was his signal to down periscope and sink quick as a nuclear submarine. 

Next thing you know we were zipping along skimming the marsh and even scooting across the surface of bits of land bridge here and there.  What amazed me most was the abundance of birds. They roosted atop tall grass light as feathers, or stood knee-deep in water turning their heads this way and that on alert for tiny fish.

Cattle stood shoulder-deep in the water, peacefully chewing their cud until the airboat urged them to move on.

No trip to the Lone Cabbage Fish Camp would be complete with out a picture like this.

I hope you can visit sometime. I recommend the catfish sandwiches too. 

1 comment:

Danna Crawford said...

What a great place this looks to be! Thanks for sharing your trip with us!