Laker at Manatee Springs

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JayM
Posts: 57
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:23 pm
Type of boat I like: Laker Sabalo or Wadefish
Location: NE Florida, USA

Laker at Manatee Springs

Post by JayM » Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:00 pm

We went camping at Manatee Springs last weekend and had some nice paddling adventures. One morning I saw several alligators, assorted birds, a few turtles, and an otter.

Small gator about 4 feet long. I was surprised that he let me get this close.
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A much bigger one on the bank in the upper tight of the photo. He headed for the water as soon as he saw me. Looked to be in the 10-12 foot range.
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A bird called a Limpkin
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This is on the banks of the Suwannee River. There is small island on the left where the small gator was sunning himself on the bank.
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I got my wife in the Laker for the first time. It was also the first time she has ever paddled in one, and it only took her about 2 minutes to paddle back and tell me that I needed to hurry up and get another one built :D . She had been saying "Why do you need to make another one?" Now she knows :lol:. Of course, I have been telling her that this one is hers.
Image

Jay

Manjimike
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Re: Laker at Manatee Springs

Post by Manjimike » Tue Apr 24, 2012 7:55 pm

I am not sure if I would be paddling with our 'Salties' if they were that close :shock: :shock:
Nice pics though

Cheers Mike

JayM
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Type of boat I like: Laker Sabalo or Wadefish
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Re: Laker at Manatee Springs

Post by JayM » Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:05 pm

Fortunately, gators aren't nearly as aggressive as saltwater crocs. Sometimes they do get swimmers, and attacks on dogs and other small animals on the shore are fairly common. I don't think I have ever heard of an attack on a canoe or kayak, though. You just don't want to surprise one that's on the bank or they could knock you over trying to get in the water. I did give the big one a couple of minutes before I paddled on by.

Jay

Manjimike
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Re: Laker at Manatee Springs

Post by Manjimike » Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:33 pm

Unfortunately some of the ones up in the Northern Territory are fed as part of a tourism show. They jump vertically out of the water to get their lunch, so I would probably not go on those particular rivers unless in a 18-20' boat :) :)

Cheers
Mike

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Oldsparkey
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Re: Laker at Manatee Springs

Post by Oldsparkey » Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:36 am

In all of my years of being on the water here in Florida I have had a gator charge me twice. Both times was when I got to close to a nest and she (Mom ) did not want me there.
1st time was in Lake Jessup and when that sucker came at me I started the motor and got out of there with her on my backside.
2nd time was on the Econ and in a narrow stretch of the river so I did not have much choice but to paddle the canoe and I stopped her with a swat of the canoe paddle on her nose.

I have paddled the swamps and been with gators longer then my canoe and all they did was to go to the bottom and stay there till I passed over them. The ones on the banks usually just slid into the water and vanished but some did stay still and just watch me as I passed them , except for one.
That one I surprised while filming the Econ. I was easing along , filming with the cam recorder , and was about 3 feet from the bank. It was the type that went almost straight up from the river for about 12 feet and I was close to it to stay out of the wind.
Next thing I knew I had this gator sliding down the bank and into the water between the canoe and the bank. Talk about rocking a boat , it was really rocking and rolling , but I stayed dry and keep the cameras dry as well. That was the last time I paddled that close to a high bank. The lucky thing was that the water dropped off and was deep enough at the waters edge for that gator to go under the canoe without coming into the canoe with me.
I am not sure who was the most scared that gator or me. :lol:

Chuck.
Remember:
Amateurs built the Ark...... Professionals built the Titanic
Visit some fine paddlers at The Southern Paddler

JayM
Posts: 57
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:23 pm
Type of boat I like: Laker Sabalo or Wadefish
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Re: Laker at Manatee Springs

Post by JayM » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:56 am

The really don't like to be surprised :o . That big one looked a lot bigger when I first saw it, but it was still pretty big even in the pic.

I've never had a really close encounter with one, but a friend of mine was fishing at Rodman and had a really large one almost hop in the boat with him. He wasn't trying to get close, but was looking the other way and accidently drifted close to the bank before he saw the gator.

An advantage of paddling is that you can sneak up on them easily. That can also be a disadvantage if you sneak up too close :lol:

Jay

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Mick
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Re: Laker at Manatee Springs

Post by Mick » Sun Nov 11, 2012 10:58 pm

G'day Jay,

Nice piccies and trip report mate.
I got my wife in the Laker for the first time. It was also the first time she has ever paddled in one, and it only took her about 2 minutes to paddle back and tell me that I needed to hurry up and get another one built . She had been saying "Why do you need to make another one?" Now she knows . Of course, I have been telling her that this one is hers
This is EXACTLY what I have been saying for years. Laker is a brilliant little boat and i would encourage anybody to build at least one of them.

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PiratePete
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Re: Laker at Manatee Springs

Post by PiratePete » Mon Nov 12, 2012 2:13 am

Top report & pictures :D :D :D

JayM
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Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:23 pm
Type of boat I like: Laker Sabalo or Wadefish
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Re: Laker at Manatee Springs

Post by JayM » Thu Nov 15, 2012 4:22 pm

Kind of an old post, but Thanks, guys.

Jay

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