Big Cypress: Kayaking in the Wind and Battling with Spiders
December 15, 2011 6 Comments
People use the word “hate” too casually. Some people hate raisins. Some people hate Republicans. I hate kayaking against a strong wind. I mean, I really really hate wind in the same way I hate people who drive 15 miles below the speed limit in the left lane. It is windy in southern Florida today. Strong east winds blowing at a steady 25 mph. We almost bagged the day, but we decided to kayak Halfway Creek in Big Cypress today. The logic was that it was (allegedly) protected from the wind and that it would make paddling tolerable. Big fucking mistake as it turned out.
Since my existence as an actual person has recently been questioned, I present the following picture. Be warned that the glare off my legs may blind you.
Halfway Creek is a nice paddle with manatees in the creek and a lot of lakes and mangrove tunnels in between. The total mileage is around 8+ miles from start to finish. I knew on the way out it was going to suck on the way back in. The wind was to our back and we were paddling with the tide. It was too easy. 2 miles in and we hit the mangrove tunnels. Mangrove tunnels are kind of awesome.
What we didn’t count on were the spiders. Millions and millions of spiders. They build webs across the mangrove tunnels to capture bugs. Also kayakers.
I ducked, I tried to avoid them, and still, spiders in my hair and my cleavage, spiders on the kayak and in the kayak. I fucking hate spiders. Finally, one of them bit Troy, leaving a welt. I doubted they were poisonous, but we turned back anyway. You can never tell when you are going to have an allergic reaction to something and 4 miles back in a swamp is not the place to discover you are going into shock. Unless you are trying to kill your spouse. I am waiting to see if Troy develops any awesome superpowers.
This meant we had to turn around and paddle into the wind. The wind sucks. Epicly. By the time we made it back to the launch, I was crippled. 3+ miles against the tide and a strong 25 mph wind. Tomorrow should be interesting since I can’t lift my arms to even put on a bra. I will say that the sunset was beautiful, but most anything is when you take percocet.