Swamp Views Via Airboat

This last weekend I toured the Blue Elbow Swamp and Sabine River, in Orange, Texas (just west of the Louisiana border), via airboat, courtesy of two very special ladies. (Thanks again for the good times!)

It may come as a surprise that as someone whose husband has spent countless hours on the water in the Navy and the Coast Guard, I do not have a lot of experience with boats. Especially not high-powered boats. I like the quiet, slow movement of sailboats, row boats, and trolling motors on small fishing boats. Power boats? My very few experiences with power boats in the last 3 years have simply reinforced my preference for little or no power.

Happily, I can report, that while I was totally freaked out by our first sharp turn after speeding down the waterway, and skidding across the water, it wasn’t horrible. Once I got over the freak factor, it was quite enjoyable. Almost like a roller coaster but without the stomach flop. I still gripped the back of my seat when speeding around, just in case, probably more than anyone else on the boat, but I’m ok with that. There was lots of slow going as well so we could stop and see the scenery, take pictures, and scout for gators. Which we saw a few.

I didn’t bring my dSLR so most of the pictures I have to share are courtesy of Janet. I brought my Olympus point and shoot which worked out fine because it spent most of its time in my pocket anyway while I held on to the boat. 🙂

This little guy was hanging out by the dock. We got to enjoy his company while we waited for the tour. He was maybe 3 feet long. Still pretty young.

We saw this guy (the biggest one we saw) just as we were starting out. The captain threw him a fish. He looked to be about 5 feet – which means about 5 years old. Did you know they grow a foot a year and then they grow wider once they’ve reached their full length?

Photo courtesy of Janet

I took this one, during one of the few times that I wasn’t having to hold on for dear life.
(It really wasn’t all that crazy, I was just not focused on taking pictures for once.)

Photo courtesy of Janet. – Yvette and me.

Photo courtesy of Janet

The smallest (and last) gator we saw – only maybe a year old. Photo courtesy of Janet.

Photo courtesy of Janet

Photo courtesy of Janet

Photo courtesy of Janet

Front row, left to right – me, Yvette, Janet. Back row – strangers. 🙂
Next to the captain’s spot, Patrick. Photo courtesy of the captain – with Janet’s camera. 🙂

The best thing to do is just leave them alone. Alligators want to be away from you just as much as you want to be away from them.
~ Jack Hannah


    1. Not particularly. They actually seemed a little too comfortable with humans for my taste. Even though it was neat to see the one eat a fish, it’s not in our (or their) best interest to be tossing them fish and getting them comfortable around humans like that.


    1. That’s probably a good thing! They can be very dangerous. It was on the news this morning that someone in town just had to have one wrestled out of his carport. It was hiding under his truck and it was pretty big. Scary!


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