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Old 09-09-2010, 10:39   #1
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Wild Animals on the ICW

Okay I know this is probably a crazy question but We will be sailing down the ICW end of October november and December, taking our time and staying in several places. I am terrified of snakes, a complete irrational terror of them, so I am nervous of the ICW as I have heard there are several deadly snakes in the area, how often do you actually see them? We have two dogs that we will be taking on shore or letting swim in the water do I have to be nervous? I know we have lots of things to think about with getting ready for the trip but the thought of snakes is kinda ruining my enjoyment of the planning. For you who have done the trip do you run into a lot of snakes, gators and such? Am I worrying for nothing? Are there places we should avoid that these things are more prevalent or things we should look out for? My husband thinks I am crazy for worrying about such things but I can't help it....
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Old 09-09-2010, 10:50   #2
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I live in the south and use various parts of the outdoors almost daily. I see gators and snakes on a regular basis and mostly they doing their damdest to get as far from me as possible. Trust your hubby and get a "snake defence tool", down here we call them sticks. Stay out of deep cover and out of the cypress swamps and you'll probably not even see a snake or a gator. You are much more likely to be attacked by our native bird the mosquito. Enjoy yourselves and don't worry about snakes.

I know about irrational fears, I'm scared of spiders. Who knows why, but there you are............m
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Old 09-09-2010, 11:02   #3
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Thanks I will need to get me one of those snake defense tools but what do I do when I am frozen on the spot and cant move when I see a snake? Maybe my husband better carry the stick... We are in canada so I am well familiar with your national bird, I think it is ours too...
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Old 09-09-2010, 13:14   #4
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Yes, you are worrying for nothing. Relax and enjoy your trip, there is no threat from snakes unless you plan on spending a lot of time tromping about in heavy bush (good luck getting that close to shore in the ICW), and the threat of a gator attack is almost nil. There have been a total of 334 alligator attacks in FL in the last 60 years (about 5 per year: see Alligator Attacks on Humans in the United States, RL Langley, 2005, Wilderness and Environmental Medicine, 16:119-124). Compare that to the number people in the water in Florida in the last 60 years...

You face other dangers that are much more likely, and all of them are pretty unlikely. pete
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Old 09-09-2010, 13:44   #5
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When I trekked in the jungle of Sarawak, there where certainly snakes about but you had to look hard to find them. When you did eventually see one, it was invariably the tail you spotted as it moved as fast as possible to get out of the area. Relax, those mosquitoes and no-see-ems are going to be far more of a problem. Don't leave home without your repellent.

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Old 09-09-2010, 14:13   #6
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When you get to Florida keep your eyes peeled, especially along the bank of the ICW...

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Old 09-09-2010, 14:16   #7
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Poisonous snakes between VA and NC

As long as your vessel doesn't have a sugar scoop stern, you should be fine; but if you have a sugar scoop stern easily accessed, the cotton mouths and copperheads love to enter the companionway at night. And if the companionway if closed, they will lie in waiting in amongst the lines and at sunrise they attack and sometimes kill their victims. BEWARE of the ICW between these 2 states!!!!!!!! Forewarned is Forearmed!!!!!!!!!
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Old 09-09-2010, 14:44   #8
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Also, at night be very very wary of the NIGHT TURKEY. If you see white eyes with red centers staring at night, be careful and DO NOT GO ON DECK. The NIGHT TURKEY is especially dangerous as it seeks revenge for relatives eaten...and this is the season!!!
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Old 09-09-2010, 15:59   #9
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Old rope...

And avoid stepping on any old rope that may be lying on the ground...
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Old 09-09-2010, 16:12   #10
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We always keep a short eared cotton tail rabbit with us when we are on the ICW. Works well for snakes and gators.
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Old 09-09-2010, 16:14   #11
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Snakes are no worries, it's the giraffes you have to watch out for.

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Old 09-09-2010, 21:29   #12
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Oh sure now I have to watch out for Giraffes, at least they are easy to spot, and Night Turkeys not to mention those terrifying creatures in spandex and glitter *shiver* Makes a girl not even want to go...Thank God we didn't by the boat with the Sugar scoop we were looking at...LOL...

You were kidding about the ropes, right?
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Old 09-09-2010, 21:54   #13
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Probably the most dangerous animals you need to worry about are the party animals. They tend to habitat fiberglass boats, wear minimal clothing, tend to be mostly nocturnal and make "Wooo Hooo" mating call sounds.



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Old 09-09-2010, 22:21   #14
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Okay I just read that snakes drop from trees into boats...FROM TREES INTO BOATS...thats it the trips off...nope can't do it...raining snakes? I don't think so...seriously does this actually happen on the ICW?? I am starting to get really freaked out and think I might be too scared to get in a dinghy to take the dogs ashore or to let them go anywhere including in the water. Did I mention this is a totally irrational horrible nightmarish fear that I have...think phobia..
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Old 09-09-2010, 22:25   #15
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Really, Reluctant Sailor, you need not worry about snakes and gators. And giraffes? I mean, really. But those 'gators' in bikinis? You better keep your husband chained to the cockpit. Uhhh. Okay, moving on. When I first started sailing I was 'concerned' about sharks. In all my salt water years I have seen sharks once. We were swimming, and the woman that was with me ... well, she wasn't all that hot, anyways .....
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