Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Kayaking through the Mangrove Tunnels - Mar. 24, 2011

I must admit that I was a little nervous about going on our guided kayak tour. It's been awhile since I kayaked (last summer) and I wasn't sure I would be able to keep up. I was also nervous about irritating my shoulder to start our vacation. However, it was a very slow-paced guided tour and I had no problems keeping up. There were 3 other people on this particular tour, an older couple from New York and a younger gal from Michigan. There was another tour in progress as you can see a kayak off in the distance. There was another guide with clients that arrived after us. This is a popular thing to do in the Everglades, it seems.
Our family had 2 tandem kayaks. Gage and Scott went out in one kayak and Emma and I went out in the other. I'm thinking we did our kayak purchases wrong. This was so much fun to go out in the tandem kayaks, versus our 2 single kayaks which cause alot of fighting about who gets to go out.

Emma and I were second in line, just behind the guide. It was a slow pace and it was easy to keep up. I didn't have alot of help from my fellow kayaker, so I was happy about the snail pace.

Emma was also a bit out of sorts. She was tired and cranky from waking up the previous morning at 3:20am for our early flight. She was complaining alot about my ability to guide our kayak through the mangrove tunnels.

We stopped every now and again to learn about the area and to see different things. There were alot of fish jumping out in the water and it was fun to watch.

Ooops! I was having troubles seeing the front of my kayak with Emma in front! After entering out first mangrove tunnel, I was having troubles steering the kayak. Many of the tunnels were narrow enough that we had to take our kayak paddles apart and just use the end like an oar. That paired with not being able to see the front of my kayak, due to Emma sitting in front, I backed out of my 2nd position in line and let the other people go ahead of me. Every time we would run into a tree, Emma would make a disgusted noise, only making this a little more frustrating and nerve-wracking for me.

The white splash you see up ahead was the splash from an osprey diving into the water to catch a fish. This was the 2nd dive as I missed the first one, which was much closer to our kayaks. What a site that was. The osprey missed the fish on his first dive, but caught one on the 2nd attempt. Even our guide was excited to see this site as it's not every day that you get to see something like that!

Headed towards the mangrove tunnels.

We start into the tunnels. This one was wide enough that we could keep our paddles in one piece.

Scott and Gage bringing up the rear.

Mangrove tree roots.

More mangrove tree roots.

The tunnels are getting more and more narrow. I have backed off my 2nd place spot and am now just in front of Scott and Gage. We didn't see any alligators in the tunnels, thank goodness!

Scott doing all the work while Gage sits back and enjoys the ride.

This was one of the more narrow tunnels as you see Gage with his paddle taken apart.

Headed out of the tunnel into an open area.

We saw our first alligator (of the tour..........we saw several on the trip down along the "Alligator Alley" toll road) after we were almost done with our tour. You can see the three bumps in the water in the middle of the picture, back towards the trees. He is headed towards the trees.

Scott and Gage went over in the direction of the alligator to get a closer look. Gage wasn't so sure about that!

The guide saw a second alligator but I wasn't able to get pictures of that one.

As we were headed back to shore, the ibis birds were coming back to roost in the trees. They were quite noisy as they settled in for the night.

Nearing the end of our sunset kayak tour.

Here is another shot of the first alligator we saw while out in the kayaks. Kind of freaky being almost at eye to eye level!

More ibis coming in to roost for the night.

After we finished our sunset kayak tour we headed back into Everglade City to get our cabin situation straightened out and we ate supper at Camellia Street Grill and had a wonderful meal out on the patio with live music to boot! We had a great time.

Next stop.................Islands of Adventure and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter! YEAH!!!!


Shannon said...

Mar 24th, This year Stacy? Where is the snow? where is the ice up there? it looks like florida. Hey, was this in florida? Dumb me, is this while you were in Disney land?

Stacy said...

Ha ha! Yes, this is in Florida!