Thursday, February 28, 2008


The Crew: Tom & Roe, and Donna & Rod

One of the things I've always wanted to do is ride on an airboat. You know, those flat bottomed boats with the big airplane propellers on the back? Maybe this desire came from watching Flipper or Sea Hunt when I was a kid, I'm not sure. About 10 minutes from the Great Outdoors, there is a place to do just that. We made arrangements, and, with our friends Tom and Roe, went off to explore the local waterways.

Peaceful looking but there's gators on the banks!

While we were waiting for our boat to come in, another one was unloading...they were obviously race fans in town for the Daytona. They were also drunk and quite giddy. They made their way back to their car, and one of the guys asked his girl to flash him so he could take a picture...eewwwww! This woman was no spring chicken, but she dropped her top. Roe commented, "When you get older, your bra size changes from "perky" to a 36 'LONG'". Enough said, we all got a good laugh before the ride started.

View from one of the small channels we navigated
After donning our ear protection, Captain Dan took us out for a 1-1/2 hour ride. What is neat about airboats is that they don't need water. We traversed several times across land, taking a shortcut to the next part of the river. Since the boat isn't floating on water during the traverse, it is a wee bit bumpy on land. The boat reached speeds of 50mph on the straight-away waterways, which was fast enough to clear out the ole sinuses! We saw many turtles, alligators, and birds. I spotted the biggest gator of the day, at about 13 feet. Dan would cut the engine back and coast up to a gator (or gators) sunning on the bank. Sometimes they would sit there, not moving, but sometimes they would bolt for the water at the last second, splashing us as they headed for the water. Often we would see their heads and eyes as they floated in the channel. As we approached, they just sink out of sight. Interestingly, Dan told us their main source of food are fish and turtles. Turtles often sun on the same beach as gators. I guess turtles are not exceedingly smart amphibians!

Snaggletooth looks like he just had lunch!

Smile for the camera!

This was a great experience, and if you're ever down in Florida, we highly recommend trying it out!

1 comment:

  1. What a blast you guys are having! I hope you are counting your blessings every day. And this blog is a great way to keep all your memories. Keep that adventurous spirit alive! You could come up with a new reality show about RVing - sort of the "not so roughing it" version of Survivor... :-)


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