Monday, June 2, 2014
Swamp Boat Tour
Monday morning began with the most fantastic swamp tour on an air boat. We were seriously praying that the rain would hold off for a few hours so we could relish the whole experience. A drizzle would have been fine, but lightening and tin boats are a very bad combination. I'll just mention now that we weren't 3 minutes down the road after our tour when the rain began. Another miracle that we were so grateful for.
Captain Curt Guidry maneuvered us through the Atchafalaya Basin, over water hyacinths (and sometimes a little ground), down the channels and back waterways--all in search of the alligators. He must know where they all live and went directly to an area where a mama gator resides with her 10 babies, 10 months old. It was another National Geographic experience. These pictures can never do justice to the beauty that we experienced today.
What a delight to be together with family and enjoy this whole incredible experience. This is something that Marc has wanted to do all his life. If it's not on anyone's bucket list, it should be!
So here's the mother gator and one of the 10--the only one that wanted to be photographed! Yes, they were almost as close as it looks. Mother gator came right up within a few feet of the boat. Captain Curt threw out some beef fat for her. I think she knew it was coming. When and if I get around to a bit about gators I'll come back and fill in the information.
This was so much like being on the California Delta, but even more beautiful. Many of the cypress trees had what looked like green lines on them--all in the same place. What we discovered is that was the water level in 2011! I'm not sure how it could've been so high. It already looked like it was going to flood the banks.
These are just a few pics of the beauty of nature that we enjoyed.
Next stop was Avery Island, the Tabasco Factory and Jungle Gardens.
There's something fascinating about watching anything in an assembly line. It seems to be mesmerizing. I seriously could have stood forever watching little bottles get filled, lidded and labeled. This is the only place in the world where Tabasco is bottled. I have a whole dissertation on how it's done, but that will also have to wait until I have more time.
After the factory tour we drove around the Jungle Gardens and saw more alligators. We were about 10' away from this little guy. He really wasn't very large--maybe 4'--so we quietly moved over to get a few shots.