Tales From The Camping House

Tales From The Camping House

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Everglades Back Country Boat Tour & Croc Talk

After our adventure with the car, we decided to stay close to the campground and take the Everglades Back Country Boat Tour at the Flamingo Marina.

We purchased our tickets for the 9 a.m. boat tour and joined approximately 8 other passengers.

It was really nice to not be on a crowded boat because in the afternoon the boat seems to always go out at full capacity.

It was a clear morning as we headed out the man made channel towards Whitewater Bay.

 During the tour, we were provided commentary regarding the history and nature in the area.

There are three different types of Mangrove trees in the area and this is an example of one of them.


There are also lots of air plants growing in the trees.

As we headed into the bay, we saw this Royal Tern on one of the mile markers.

 The wind picked up quite a bit as we journeyed into the bay.  We also passed people in their own kayaks fishing or just enjoying some time out on the water.

 We found out you could take your kayak out on the waterway where there are "chickees" placed along the route where you can camp.  A chickee is an elevated wooden platform (10ft. x 12 ft.) with a roof.  It is usually constructed on open water, well away from mangrove trees.  A narrow walkway leads to a self-contained toilet.  Your tent must be free standing since there is no place to use stakes.  I don't think we'll be doing that anytime soon.

In the afternoon, we returned to the marina for a ranger led Croc Talk.  The Everglades is the only place where you can see both alligators and crocodiles.  

The ranger had two skulls to help us distinguish between the two.
     Crocodiles have long, pointed snouts shaped like a V, whereas alligators have a more rounded           
     snouts like the letter U.

     The alligator jaw is broader than the crocodile jaw.

     Crocodiles have toothier smiles, their upper and lower teeth interlock giving you an eyeful of both 
     sets of teeth.

The alligator skull is the one in the front of the picture.

And here is a crocodile soaking up the sun's rays.

We spied another one laying on the bank. We saw three different crocodiles in the water by the marina.

After our Croc Talk, we hung out at the Osprey nest watching the family interact.

It was a great day observing nature!

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