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Old 09-09-2010, 22:29   #16
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ITs good to know you could swim faster than her...that is always important in a crew member...
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Old 09-09-2010, 23:26   #17
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There is a lot of wildlife in the Florida side of it at least. One of my favorite moments of all time on the ICW was waking up at the crack of dawn anchored on the tail end of a bird sanctuary and watching everything come alive for breakfast. Was magnificent. Especially the sea hawks.

ICW Sunrise Pic

I think the strangest thing I saw was a pet tortoise (HUGE one at that) on the Cabbage Key resort. It was the island's pet and would walk its owner to work every morning. Forgot his name but he was very friendly. Make sure to stay there on your trip. If Mr. Wells is present make sure to speak with him as well, his local knowledge of the area is absolutely fascinating and useful.

Interestingly enough, I actually saw more dolphins cruising the ICW than in the Caribbean. I saw no gators even in the lagoons nor anything that can really be considered that dangerous. Perhaps January was too cold for them.

As for snakes there is the Cottonmouth Water Moccasin which does pack a nasty bite. They are not aggressive though and I assume that as long as your dogs are not poking their noses in the mangroves you should be fine. I would research them though before your trip so you can get an idea of their habits and identification.

Have a great trip and take plenty of pictures.
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Old 10-09-2010, 00:09   #18
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Just get yourself a pair of these, Snake Gaiters :: TurtleSkin SnakeArmor. Or a pet mongoose, Rikki-Tikki-Tavi--Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936). There is no cure for phobia, but facing the source of you fear may help. It doesn't help every one. Keep an open mind and a positive "I can do this attitude". I have a few fears that I have had to learn to cope with, injections and babies under a year were the biggest two for me. I am 6'1" and 220 but a baby crying can turn me into a puddle and a nurse telling me she's going to have to give me an IV causes me to leave a puddle.
You can do it.
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Old 10-09-2010, 01:10   #19
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"monsters" love humidity and warmth

My prejudice/experience says it's unhealthy to stay long in high-humidity areas where the climate doesn't have freezing temperatures for an extended time during the year.
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Old 10-09-2010, 04:52   #20
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In Texas along the ICW you may see some snakes and gators but not likely in the spots where you can get a cruising sailboat. They mostly prefer quiet inlets and sloughs. But I have seen snakes swimming across the ICW. They will usually run away from a boat.

Kevin
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Old 10-09-2010, 04:56   #21
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swamp monsters,warm weather relatives of big foot.Few reports on sailboats reported recently.Seem to be attracted to people who listen to coast to coast.marc
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Old 10-09-2010, 05:31   #22
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But if I have the pet long eared bunny won't the Mongoose present a problem? Or is one or the other...I love the boots, I wonder if they come with matching jacket and hat (ya know for the ones dropping from trees)
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Old 10-09-2010, 05:52   #23
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On the serious side of all of this... October, November, and December things start cooling off a good bit down here. I'm a land surveyor in Alabama and am in the mountains, creeks, rivers, and swamps all of the time. I've never seen a snake in November or December. Its just too cold for them to be out. I saw one once in October, but he could barely move because it was about 55 degrees and he was still in the shade.
I wouldn't worry about them dropping out of trees onto your boat either. That only happens in Hollywood. To help cope with the fear, get some chaps to wear over jeans. It should be cool enough that they'll be semi comfortable.
Hope this helps,
Ray
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Old 10-09-2010, 06:00   #24
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Ray that does help...it is good we chose the cooler months to go, I assume since the water will be cooler as well that water snakes won't be as active. I am not really worried about Gators or even bears, I grew up in Bear country up in northern Ontario, its just these darn snakes...but it does help to know that it won't be the season for them to be prevalent. This all started because I stupidly read an article about how in March there had been more cottonmouth bites in Virginia then usual and they had issued an alert but now makes sense since it was such a hot, wet spring...okay here is me hoping for a cool fall
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Old 10-09-2010, 07:34   #25
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For the most part, it's not worth worrying about but two of my cruising friends have had snake problems. One found one on his boat and the other got into his small rowing dink one morning and found himself facing a snake. Unfortunately for him, he's deathly afraid of snakes. So much so that he jumped out of the dink into the water. So it is rare, but it does happen occasionally.
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Old 10-09-2010, 08:21   #26
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I kayak and swim in the ICW daily and have never seen a snake....many dolphins and manatees.
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Old 10-09-2010, 08:28   #27
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9 people a year die in the USA from snakebites
33,000 die on our highways
150,000 die from alcohol
450,000 die from tobacco
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Old 10-09-2010, 09:17   #28
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Snakes In North Carolina

My experience is that if you stay on asphalt, concrete, gravel and not in the bush, then you will rarely see a snake. I've seen some water snakes, about two a year at the marina, they leave me alone and I leave them alone. I've seen one snake on land in 3 years at the marina. I looked at the snake, it looked at me and we went different directions, both of us moving pretty fast.

I used to be afraid of flying but my job required it. I spent a lot of time learning about the risk of flying and what I could do to lower the risk. You could do the same for snakes. Learn which ones are dangerous. Develop a plan in case you see a snake. Decide where you will and will not walk to avoid snakes. For instance, when in the woods, I wont put my hands or feet anywhere I cannot see. I will not step over a log or board if I cannot see under it. Hope this helps.

Dale
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Old 10-09-2010, 10:11   #29
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Reluctantsailor,
**No snake will board a boat with dogs, trust me on this, snakes hate dogs and the dogs will be your alarm.
**snakes rarely drop out of trees, but you will be on a boat and not under a tree.
**If you do not want to encounter a snake then dont go trekking through the swamp and donít overturn any old logs and you should be good to go.

What I remember about the ICW is the beauty of the wildlife which was birds galore (Bald Eagles, Red tail and Red shoulder hawks, pelicans, seagulls etc.) butterflies, dragonflies and alligators, oh and lots and lots of bird sized mosquitoes (they are organized and have a plan!).

Something to remember is that this is not exactly the wild frontier, about a million boats have gone before you and paved the way.

I hope you go, it will be a fantastic adventure and full of beauty.
Erika
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Old 10-09-2010, 10:14   #30
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Originally Posted by Patient View Post

As for snakes there is the Cottonmouth Water Moccasin which does pack a nasty bite. They are not aggressive ...............

Have a great trip and take plenty of pictures.
Nasty indeed. While generally non-lethal, their bites cause substantial swelling, severe flu-like symptoms to worse. While the Cottonmouth is not as aggressive as their reputation in some quarters, they will defend territory. Having said that, bites are relatively rare and snake worries should not keep you off the water, as always keep mindful of your surroundings and respect the natives and you will be fine. Definitely take lots of pictures.
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