The first thing I learned on my airboat ride in Florida’s Myakka River State Park was that alligators hate the cold. I guess that’s why most of them live in Florida. But Florida can get colder than their liking too, and on those chilly days they prefer to stay under water.
And February 13th just happened to be one of those days. It was 65F, and and the captain said that with the windchill it felt like 45F, and the alligators wouldn’t like that. I didn’t know that alligators even knew about the windchill factor.
Of course, the captain announced that we would probably wouldn’t see any alligators after the boat pulled away from the dock. Not that an earlier confession would have made a difference. We had driven 40 minutes from Sarasota and we were going on that ride on the “Gator Gal” around Upper Myakka Lake.
So most of the 600-700 alligators were allegedly submerged under water. (I say allegedly because I certainly wasn’t going to go snorkeling to find out if the captain was telling the truth!) But the captain did a great job tracking down the gators that hadn’t checked the weather report.
We saw a few hearty souls that came up for a surface swim and some even braver reptiles that lounged around the shore, like that menacing fellow pictured up top.
We probably saw about eight alligators. It would have been more fun had we seen more, but it was still a nice (if breezy!) excursion and I learned a lot of facts about alligators, most of which I promptly forgot.
But one fact that I do remember is that that alligators only eat at night unless they see an easy meal, like an injured bird. Um, that doesn’t sound like they only eat at night to me. I’ll continue to avoid alligators day and night — unless I go on a boat ride specifically to look for them, that is.