Alligators and Kayaking

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Hard work deserved a fish kiss!

Hard work deserved a fish kiss!

My first attempt at fishing from the kayak seemed to coordinate with alligators coming out of hibernation. Some of you are thinking, no big deal. Well, I have HORRIBLE coordination and balance, so fishing from a kayak in water filled with alligators is a tad bit scary. I have grown up in Florida and Louisiana so I think I am not properly scared of alligators. One of them sounded so deep and loud I thought it was a boat. They really are magnificent creatures, especially in the water. When you see them swim is when you really gain respect for them. They seem so slow at first, but once in the water they move effortlessly and quickly.

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Big gator head.

Big gator head.

We went to the Wacissa river that is home to Big Blue that is where my friend Josh was lost that I wrote my letter to in my last post. So, as you can understand, it is always a little strange to be there. Writing that letter was helpful and I felt I could pray and speak to him in more of a joyful way as opposed to a sad way. We went to Big Blue and sat in silence for a while for me to pray and remember him there. Really though, he is in more of the happy moments.

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Kayaking is awesome. I am shocked that I love it so much! I was always hesitant because my afore mentioned balance. Also, let me be completely real, I was lazy! Ok, I do not want to kayak incredibly far distances or anything, but it is an amazing experience! You are right there in the water with the fish you want to catch! My brother wanted to kayak the Mississippi River once, I think that is insane. He also runs 100K races. He actually does that! Wow. I have yet to do the 5Ks I keep talking about. I think it is just mind over matter. I have never been a gym person or a work out person. I consider myself active, but have shied away from any real strenuous physical activity. Kayaking could be the start of something awesome. It is amazing to be so close to nature. It is such an awe inspiring perspective. In a way I feel like nature just ignores you. Which is not true because the turtles still blooped into the water when I got too close, but those alligators didn’t flinch! We were able to go places we have never been able to go before because our only motor was our arms. We had no draft and could float over anything. I was fully prepared, with my really dorky water shoes, to pull my kayak over anything in the way of our path. I felt like an adventurer going where none had gone before.

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The Wacissa is a gorgeous, clear spring-fed river. Travis and I have spent a good deal of time on this river. In the past four years we have been together I never thought I would kayak by myself or fish this river. I never thought I would be able to cast accurately enough to catch anything. The best fishing spots are down river a ways, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to paddle back up, so we stayed around the head of the river. I was able to cast without falling in! I was so proud of myself! Travis was able to fish on the other side of the river without me. This was a first for us. I was finding my own spots and casting where I thought best. Right about the same time we both caught a bass. Now, I know, mine isn’t a monster, but I was proud. This fish had marked a new era in my fishing career. I love all the possibilities you have with fishing, especially in Florida. We can choose to go salt or fresh any day. Now, I can choose to kayak or boat. The fishing world just keeps getting broader. It is difficult and hard to fish in such a small space, but I know there is better equipment for that. Our kayaks are loaners from the  loving in-laws. Me catching a bass on the Wacissa from a kayak goes to show that anything is possible. If you work hard enough, you can accomplish goals you didn’t think possible. For me, this is big. I usually give up when something gets mildly difficult. Well, fishing has always been difficult, so this was a new way to start for me. It is satisfying in a whole new way.

My first river and kayak bass!

My first river and kayak bass!

Every time we go, I learn something new. I don’t bug him, I just try to focus on learning one thing and mastering it before moving on. I hope I never run out of things to learn and from what I can see from reading and watching fishing, I won’t. I surprise myself with what I can do. I was shocked that I got to the landing dry. So was my husband. The wind was fighting us on our way back. (It was also so much easier to stay dry without my Sophie in  the kayak, like the first time.) It was the perfect day with the perfect weather. You could hear the sounds of life all around. You could see into the world of the freshwater river down below. Spring is waking up God’s beautiful world. Everything seems to being coming to life so suddenly. It is wonderful.

 

Dry at the end!

Dry at the end!

 

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One thought on “Alligators and Kayaking

  1. I’m enjoying some vicarious time on the water with your blog. I still have not been to Big Blue, but I know I need to go there someday.

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