One too close for comfort
Betty Osceola, myself and Captain Planet arose one morning and ventured off with Buffalo Tiger Airboat tours on a private excursion hopping islands. It was a cool and clouded day unlike the previous days before it. The humidity in the air was low, which made the trip quite comfortable. Our plan was to airboat to various private islands within the Miccosukee reservation lands. To check water levels and the status of these islands, to spend a day exploring with great friends. Needless to say the trip was eventful to say the least, as we dodged smaller storms, and I a brown scorpion that landed on my arm. We put many hours on that airboat that day, and our bodies knew that it was time to venture home. Yet this beast of a storm surely would not allow us such an easy passage across the glades. It made its presence known to us as dark ominous clouds formed in the skies and the cool winds picked up. We rushed to find safety out of the storm, as we were pelted by stinging raindrops which made it unbearable at times to see. We knew that we could not proceed further as it was to dangerous to risk it. So we had to bunker down below a highway overpass under I75 on alligator alley. We tied up the boat to the concrete support pillars below, and sat on the rocks below the overpass waiting out the storm.
The last thing you want is to be on open waters in a metal airboat with lightning above your head. One strike upon the water near you, or upon the boat will surely be fatal. The chances for survival in such a scenario is slim at best. With no way to contact someone if things turned sour, it would be a very very bad experience. You must remember that that Big Cypress Preserve is composed of hundreds of thousands of acres of lands, mostly swamp lands, and prairies. There are a great deal of dangers in theses waters and lands, such as venomous snakes, gators, bears, panthers and so forth. To be injured with no assistance would be surely fatal unless someone miraculously came by on another boat. With this whole Covid situation, boats are far and few out there, so you must be on your toes always.
Needless to say we survived the trip and pressed on. However I will never forget the lightning overhead the pure power and awe of mother nature unleashed. I was able to snap some images of this storm as we left the tail end of it, it shall always remind us of what we experienced on that day.