Okefenokee Swamp:  Visiting & Kayaking & Suwanee Canal

Okefenokee: Suwanee Canal

In August of 1999 my husband and I [Tara Fields] took a kayak trip into the Okefenokee Swamp.  We didn't go with a group, and as it was in the middle of a major heat wave we didn't plan on staying long!

Okefenokee: Suwanee Canal

We entered at the Suwanee Canal.  Looks cool and inviting, doesn't it?  Don't let it fool you!
We were sweating before we hit the water!

Okefenokee: Suwanee Canal

There was very little wind and no surface current to the water.
While it was easier than trying to paddle upstream, in this heat it was difficult at times to keep paddling at all!

Okefenokee: James Kayaking in Suwanee Canal

This is James in the boat above.  I'm in the below.
As you can see, we were wearing the height of fashion!

Okefenokee: Tara Kayaking in Suwanee Canal

Most of the canal was pretty open.  In a few places the trees would provide us with some shade.
I spent most of the trip sticking close to the banks - hoping a snake didn't drop on me!

Okefenokee: Suwanee Canal

Despite the heat, I loved the trip.  We were only out a few hours but it was worth the heat exhaustion.
We ran into very few people.  The gators were everywhere.

Okefenokee: Suwanee Canal

We were so busy paddling and drinking LOTS of water that we took very few pictures - and no good gator shots.  At first I was a little nervous having so many gators around.  I finally realized that THEY were so hot they had gotten downright sluggish!  However, I didn't underestimate their ability to move quickly if I bothered them.  Whenever possible I gave them a wide berth as I passed.  Occasionally, I wasn't able to move out of their way.  The bow of my boat would pass over them and they would simply sink down and out of the way.  Of course, once I realized that during the bulk of our trip the water was only a couple of feet deep this made me rather nervous!

Okefenokee: James Kayaking in Suwanee Canal

 

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