Well, it’s not really alligator hunting. It’s more like alligator “seeking” (and then carefully avoiding).
But (you know me)—
I was gonna embellish (lie) about the trip today like I embellished (lied) about falling off the boat during the S. America cruise last year (and, hahahahaha, everyone believed my stupid ass except my daughter Melissa and Yuriy—dumbasses!)
So, that’s what I was going to do—I was planning on telling another tall fish tale (are alligators fish? 🤔)
BUT, as they say, reality intervened (but I ended up with an even better story).
Our boat sunk. (And below are the pictures to prove it!) And not just sunk—sunk into the lake that has all these frigging alligators we’d been “seeking” (and finding for the past 2 hours).
Scary as hell. And there is NO cell service out on Okeechobee Lake.
We were having a great time with Captain Kenny, from the Louisiana bayou transplanted to Florida, seeing all kinds of alligators, from babies to 10 footers, and several water moccasins (Capt Kenny said the water moccasins are way more dangerous than the alligators— for 1. They are deadly poisonous, and 2. They are the one of the only snakes that actually attacks. Ugh!. Said you’d rather run into 10 alligators vs 1 water moccasin).
So we’re riding through the weeds (hard to believe these boats can “drive” over them, but the landscape is actually on water) when we hear a loud bang and then another loud bang and the engine blows apart and quits. Not the end of the world. We’ll just wait until someone comes along to help.
However, unbeknownst to Capt Kenny or us, one of the engine bolts that blew must have gone through the bottom of the boat because after a few minutes our feet started to get wet. Then we found the gash.
We started bailing (no pumps on these boats) but the water finds a way in and we only had our hands and a small bucket and couldn’t keep up. So slowly we started sinking. Luckily for us, the water in this part of the lake was only 3’ deep so we were ok. But the water in the boat must have leaned the boat to one side, and it suddenly tipped over and we all fell out (pics below).
Not wanting to stand in this muddy water with alligators and snakes all around, we crawled onto the side of the boat as best we could. Not that we were ever in danger of drowning but we definitely were in danger of getting attacked. Scary.
About an hour later a small fishing boat (a young guy named Tyler, from S. Carolina, who was down in Florida duck hunting) motored by and offered to help (but his boat was too small for the 3 of us to fit into). Fortunately, about 20 minutes later another airboat (Captain Steve) came by to evacuate us (before any of us got eaten alive).
Man, that was scary. The water is only 3 feet deep—up to our waist only—but it would have been over a one-mile walk, through all the weeds and trees and plants (and you can’t even see the frigging alligators and the water moccasins because they blend in) so it was better that we just stayed on the boat until help came to ferry us to shore. A lot safer than walking!
Glad to be alive and uneaten!!! I wanted a birthday dinner. But I def didn’t want to BE some snake or alligator’s birthday dinner 🙂
Whew! One birthday I will never forget.
PS: Off to KC tomorrow for the Bills-Chiefs AFC Conference Championship game. You can look for us. We’ll be around the 25-yard line. The Blue Wall amidst the Red Sea 😉