Saturday, June 12, 2010

Fraught with Danger


Having survived potential alligators, lightning, and copperheads, it was now time to just relax and enjoy kayaking on Lake Wylie....we thought.

So we went to Kayak Launch number 3. This site was again lovely, a cove surrounded by houses of people who are either in the mob or Illuminati, or related to Bill Gates. No one else could afford them. There was a swimming dock next to the boat launch. Across a vast stretch of open water was a small island. Since it was a weekday, there were few motorboats out, so we felt it would be safe to traverse the open water.
I pushed out of my mind the story of the 16 year old who is currently circumnavigating the globe in a boat and seems to be lost in cold waters somewhere. (all I can think of is what parent allows a 16 year old to do that?)

We set off across the water, and while we did not ever lose sight of land, it did take a half hour of constant paddling to reach the island. However, it was far from deserted. A score of motorboats were moored there, with large people lounging on the sandy beach. I think there might be a correlation between large people and motorboats. Kayakers tend to be small, because it is hard to get in and out of the boat. In fact, one very nice lady corroborated that fact as she came over to chat with me.
"I envy you paddling all the way over here," she said.
"Oh it is really fun," I concurred, "You should try it. Kayaks are cheap."
"Oh I am too fat to get in a kayak!" she laughed.
She was a delightful lady and we talked while Asherel cavorted with the motor boat oil droplets and fish.
After ascertaining that the woman had lived for 4 years on the lake, I asked her my favorite question.
"What do you know about the alligator?"
Her face grew serious and she shook her head. No laughing behind her hand at me.
"Well, I haven't heard anything about them since last summer when they were sighted. I don't understand this policy of wait until they get big to catch them."
I nodded, "Last summer they were 3 feet... how big do you think they are this summer?"
I had found a fellow worry-wart, and we both assumed an expression of deep thought over the cataclysmic growth of reptiles with no natural enemies in the lake.
"All I can tell you is that we live in a cove, and yesterday there was a wildlife worker with a speargun just off our property. "
I am not thinking he was hunting for oysters.....
"They were sighted a year ago up by the dam..." she pointed way up the lake, way far away from all our launch sights. Whew.
"And we live down that way." She pointed way down the lake, way in the other direction.
Either, the alligator has a motorboat, or there are a few of them, or they can and do swim far and fast. Of all those options, I prefer number one, the least likely.
"But they would only be in shallow coves, not in this open water," she assured me.

We headed the half hour back, loaded our boats and then leaped off the floating dock by our launch site for a cool off swim. A group of teens and a Dad were also on the dock.
Suddenly, one of the teens splashing about in the water screamed and scurried up the ladder.
"Snake!!!" he called.
"Out of the water," I commanded Asherel, asking the boy, "You are not kidding?"
"NO! I don't do snakes!!!!"
NO, neither do I, and with alarming frequency, they seem to be cropping up.
Asherel climbed the ladder and as we toweled off, the man told me,"It isn't poisonous in all likelihood."
"What about water moccasins?"
"Oh it is too cold here for them. They are mostly south."
(Note- this is what they said about the alligator too.)
"Now it could be a copperhead," he admitted, "But in general, they don't hang out under docks."
This might not be one of those "in general" times, I thought.
"In all likelihood, it is a water snake. They are not poisonous.... just aggressive."
In my humble opinion, none of those options gave clear incitement to ever swim off that dock again.
We decided that our best swim spot was the spot where the pop up thunderstorm had threatened us.
Or we could just fill the bathtub and kayak there. That is looking better every day.
So God who is always speaking is telling me something. All the dangers we have faced this week are really not likely to actually harm us. They could of course, but probably are as afraid of us as we are of them. Every breath I take is a gift of God, and I trust He will continue to supply the oxygen. So, with trust and faith in His protection, I will head out into His snake infested, alligator crowded, treacherous water world..... but not til I buy a snake bite kit, air horn, and full body armor today.

Psalm 18
16 He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters.

17 He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.

18 They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the LORD was my support.

19 He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me.

1 comment:

  1. You do know they pulled an eight-footer from Lake Wylie back in 2002, yes?

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