Saturday, June 11, 2011

Bird eating spiders, and the "World's largest air boat"

 "It will be fun Dexter, you might see 1000lb feral boars with tusks of death, spiders big enough to eat birds, poisonous snakes, and the place is really swampy." I note the incredulous look of polite disdain cross young Dexter's face as his somewhat odd uncle tries to pump him up about a day trip to Myakka River State Park. " And oh yeah, we are going to ride on the world's largest air boat, and see lots of man eating alligators," Okay that's better, I suspect he thinks, there might actually be an event here that will enliven what he already knows will be a dreary day with a bunch of adults talking about nature and other dull stuff.

As far as I can tell, and I have done some real digging, the Myakka Maiden is the world's largest air boat. It's 52' long with a beam of 16', and caries up to 73 passengers. Like its sister ship, the Gator Gal (50'), both are plywood flat bottomed West System-esque constructed vessels, and USCG certified. Despite the captain's very interesting, and informative dialog about the flora and fauna of the area, what most passengers really want to see is Florida's official state pet, the alligator, hopefully rending some poor victim into smaller bite sized pieces. Alligators are thick as thieves in the lake, and you will see many of them. Little toy dogs (I call these breeds generically "Kickme's") would last about 60 seconds doing their yipping on the banks of this lake.