Monday, July 13, 2015

Flipped!

March 25, 2015 is a kayaking day I will not soon forget. It was a perfect day weather-wise, so I was pumped.

After getting settled in my kayak, the first thing I spied were three juvenile alligators sunning on two different logs as I paddled toward my friend. No biggie. After that I didn't see too many more gators, but did hear and see Prothonotary Warblers, Yellow-throated Warblers, Northern Parulas, Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, Osprey (a new lifer!), Pileateds, Little Blue Herons, Great Herons, Roseate Spoonbills, and Great Blue Herons. There were more, but those were the highlights.

So we kayaked for three hours and decided we'd had enough. Cathy went down to the bank to get out and I went to the deck at the rental place to drop off the kayak. Several times I tried to hoist my big patootie up and over the deck. Sitting inside the kayak you're pretty level with the water, and the deck is a good foot higher. No one was there to hold the kayak against the deck for stability so it was going to be a huge challenge. Finally, I said to myself, "Don't think about it. Just do it!" Splash! The kayak flew away from me and I went down.

I blame Nike.

So there I was flapping in the water, fully clothed, still unable to pull myself onto the deck. Meanwhile the kayak was floating away. But who cares about that when there are gators in the water??? Anyway, I finally pulled my sopping wet self onto the deck by the grace of God. It was more like clawing, then flopping over like a beached whale. Ay yi yi! Was I a sight. The boat rental lady felt so bad when I told her what happened. She asked why I didn't call for help. I have no idea why I didn't holler. Maybe I was afraid of calling attention to fresh meat in the water. Anyway, I did have the foresight to put my camera and phone on the deck before all the drama!





Black-bellied Whistling Ducks

Osprey carrying twigs to the nest.


Linking up with...
Thanks, Anni!

41 comments:

Bethany Carson said...

Oooh, in with the alligators! Now that sounds like an (unpleasant) experience. Glad you survived! Beautiful pictures from the day.

HOOTIN ANNI said...

That would have scared the crap out of me...the swamp water, knowing gators were just waiting for some mishap like that!!

I AM GLAD YOU GOT OUT safely!!!!

And managed to have the foresight of putting the camera up on the pier/dock beforehand.

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

Absolutely...the camera comes first. ;)

Nice shots. The young gators are great.

Irma said...

Hi Gail,
What an adventure, thankfully you have survived, and the crocodiles had not seen.
How wonderful there, this is the rainforest ??
Best regards, Irma

Stephanie said...

Oh Gail, what an experience...a not so fun one. I think I probably would have panicked and possibly started crying :)

I am so glad you're okay, my friend! And the photos you captured are quite beautiful. Have a blessed week. Big hugs to you!

EG CameraGirl said...

I'm so glad you thought to place your camera on the dock before your catastrophe! I can see it was super outing for taking photos, though.

nookworm said...

You not only take exquisite pictures, you tell fantastic true stories! What a wonderful way to combine the two. Great experiences to remember, aren't they?

eileeninmd said...

Good Morning, Gail! First I must say I am glad you made it out of the water safely. And your camera gear was safe! The story was great seeing the all the wonderful birds and kayaking with your friend, until the end with the spill. Those gators look pretty scary and they look like they were watching you too. Lovely images! Have a happy day and new week ahead!

maryaustria said...

So glad that you made it out from the water... What an experience! Seems like you have good nerves! :) Your photos are amazing! The gators are really impressive and I love the osprey in flight!

Linda at To Behold The Beauty said...

Well, I wish you'd told me up front that the phone and camera were safe so I could have focused more of my worry on you! I don't believe anything could entice me into those alligator-infested waters. Your photos are wonderful, though. The osprey shot is fabulous.

Karen S. said...

Wow, incredible adventure for you and now us too! Save the camera and share those babies with us, so fun. But something I enjoy seeing rather than doing! Ha! Ha!

June Caedmon said...

Good grief, Gail! You had my heart beating with this one I tell ya! So thankful you are okay!!!

Felicia said...

beautiful images. glad you didn't become breakfast for a gator. seriously, i'm sure that was very scary, glad you are ok.

barbara l. hale said...

The first thing I thought was, "I wonder what happened to her camera!" Glad to hear that it was on the deck before you went into the drink. At the art guild I belong to, we recently had a guest who is a bird photographer who spends a good bit of time in her kayak taking pictures. It made me nervous just hearing her talk about being on the water with her expensive equipment. But, oh, her pictures were superb as are yours.

Kelly Del Valle said...

Oooh my goodness! So glad you put your electronics in a safe place first! LOL I remember the first time I went paddleboarding, the landing was at a shop that had a restaurant upstairs. When I paddled up, everyone on the balcony was smiling and waving at me and I was just like, oh my gosh, I hope I pull this off gracefully... I didn't fall but I did come pretty close.

Kelly Del Valle said...

Also - love all the photos!!!

bailey-road.com said...

What a way to end a beautiful kayaking day. Glad you and you gear made it out of the water safely. Those gators can move pretty fast. The photos are beautiful.

DeniseinVA said...

Golly day Gail, so glad it all turned out okay. Awesome photographs but you don't need to go to those lengths to share with us, lol! I'm thinking kayaking can be a wonderful experience, without the dunking. I only did it once many years ago. You see some amazing things and your photos are stunning.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

I love your swamp pictures. I blame Nike. Ha!!

TexWisGirl said...

oh, my goodness! i'd have been scared witless! :)

Slamdunk said...

Oh my! Glad you were ok, Gail. A few years ago, my little crew were playing at a park next to a creek that was flowing faster than normal due to rains. A couple of young and what I deemed to be not veteran kayakers carried their 2 boats and disappeared into the bushes toward the water. A few minutes later we hears some choice language and shouting. Evidently, both kayaks had slipped into the fast flow with no riders. now. Big guy was sprinting along the shore trying to catch up. He eventually got them, but they both were too spent from running to boat that day.

Glad you got your pics before the incident.

hootnonny said...

PANIC! I am so glad you didn't get eaten and that you had the presence of mind to remove your camera!

Evelyn S. said...

Omigosh, Gail! I would have drowned, I'm certain. So glad you survived. :-) Also glad you took care of your photo equipment first. The photos are wonderful; I'm always so amazed--and envious--of the sharp focus you achieve each time. Beautiful work.

Stephanie said...

I'd be too chicken to kayak with alligators nearby. My goodness, glad you weren't hurt in the water and getting out. Awesome images! Loved seeing the Whistlers.

Spare Parts and Pics said...

Glad you are safe, and definitely a moment to remember! I wondered about your camera gear too. You managed to capture some great photos!!

Anvilcloud said...

Well, that would have been nerve wracking. Phew!

Kathy said...

Thanks goodness you saved the camera or we wouldn't have had to opportunity to see these great photos!

Marie C said...

Absolutely gorgeous photos! Wow! I am so glad you saved your camera before your swim. :-) That would have been a horrible disaster had you lost it! Your story reminded me of a canoeing trip my hubby and daughter and I wanted to take on a lake many many years ago. My hubby still tells this on me, like it's the funniest thing I ever did. But, for some reason we were expected to load into the canoe off a boardwalk or dock(I have since learned that is NOT the best idea!) and my husband got in, and then our daughter. We were only in about eight to ten inches of water. I had my purse with me, because this was kind've an impromptu decision, and well, leaving my purse under the seat in a vehicle years before that had resulted in a smashed window and a missing purse. So it was in my hand. I stepped down into the canoe with one leg and it started moving away from the dock. Hubby was still holding onto the dock at his end of the canoe, but my end was floating out away from the dock and I was fast doing the "splits". I finally succumbed and splashed both hands down into the water as I fell (purse and all!) and the canoe tipped over. I will never forget my little daughter's face as we were dumped into the drink....she looked terrified! She told us she thought she was going to drown, but of course, you could stand right up in the water, but she didn't realize that. Back in the day, there was no AFV or I wouldn't ve been on TV! :-)

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Well thank goodness you saved the camera because those are beautiful beautiful pictures.

But seriously, be careful out there -- and holler for help before you 'just do it' next time ;>))))!

Debbie said...

omgoodness gail, what a story, what a ride!! unforgettable is right, where in the world do you get your courage!!

your images are awesome, good thing we saved the camera!!!!

Joke (Joke's Camera) said...

How scary, Gail. I don't like gators. Brrr ... I never would have done that, I think. But your pictures are gorgeous and breathtaking (as ever). Luckily you reached finally safe and sound the deck. Be careful, there is only one Gail. Greetings, Joke

diane b said...

Luckily the gators look happily well fed. One couldn't help a little giggle at your description of getting out of the kayak. It sure looks like a fun adventure, kayaking, not flipping.

Indrani said...

OMG! Quite scary! But excellent pics.

Gunilla B├Ąck said...

Awesome photos! What an adventure!

Anita Johnson said...

Does your experience feel any better if I told you how much we all enjoyed your photographs? Quite the experience. I lost a lens in a river once..no reptiles any where near. We have gone kayaking in the Everglades...sitting low like that makes the alligators teeth all the more scary. So glad you and your camera were unhurt.

Terri @ Coloring Outside the Lines said...

Lordy, I probably would have screamed to high heavens..in with the gaters...whoa! You did get some beautiful shots though!

BeachGypsy said...

LOVED reading about this adventure, Gail!! Your alligator photos are SO AMAZING.....I JUST LOVE THEM ESPECIALLY THE ONE OF THE TWO TOGETHER! You have real talent. I never thought I'd have ANY INTEREST in gators.......I feared them......now that we live amongst them, we see that they are not out to 'get us'.....we just use caution. They are amazing creatures.......I love watching them! None of my photos compare to yours.......I will keep trying! I have a new camera, that will help, I hope. People who have known me for years said they cannot believe I am out in the mosquito infested alligator swamps......watching and photographing gators......LOL ha ha.........but its just something I've come to enjoy. How bout you?

Hannah said...

You are so much braver than me to be there in that kayak in the first place, I'm glad your mishap didn't have harmful consequences. The photos are really neat, and it must be exciting, let's hope not too exciting.

Wally Jones said...

Oh, good, at least you thought to save the camera first! LOL!

The good news was, at least you got cooled off. Terrific photographs of the swamp and the little lake lizards!

(Sorry to have been absent lately. Road trip, life, etc.)

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

And this is a fun outing with gators nearby? Sorry, Gail but it just wiuld not be one for me although the photos of the gators were lovely and justbglad it was NOT me taking them!

Tree Hugger - Suzan said...

Ay-Yi-Yi Gail!!!
thank goodness you flipped out at the dock AND thank goodness your camera and phone were docked!!!
I've only fallen out once!! It was an open kayak and I got rid of the d#@* boat there soon after!! My kayaks are the widest that Old Town makes!!
You have lovely shots of the young gators - but where there are young gators - there are also old, big gators!!! You're MUCH braver than myself.
We don't have the gators up here like you all do there. I use to paddle all the time by myself here --- our rivers are cold. But that wouldn't be a good idea in your area!!
Loving your shots - please do stay safe!!