Swamp CreatureMy husband and I like to paddle the Wadboo River in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. It's a beautiful, quiet river, with many twists and turns. We don't see many people at all on the stretch that we paddle. When we paddle around each bend, startled turtles that had been sunning on logs and banks launch themselves into the water, making big splashes.
On one bend we rounded, we noticed a lot of splashing by the bank. "Must have been a lot of turtles," my husband remarked. As we got closer to the bank, the water roiled again. "Maybe a turtle got stuck on his back in the shallows?" I wondered. Closer still, the water around the bank kicked up again. Both of us were thinking at that point that some poor unfortunate turtle had become an alligator's meal. With alligators on our minds, we started to pass the bank. All of the sudden, a huge black object rose up out of the water right where the disturbance had been! My husband gasped, and I screamed and dropped my paddle (not exactly keeping a cool head in an emergency).
The scuba diver took his mask and regulator off and looked at me. We had been seeing his air bubbles coming to the surface! Only then did I notice the diver's boat half-hidden in the overhanging trees. Still shaken, I babbled something about the creature from the Black Lagoon to explain my reaction. I hope the diver understood he had just scared the wits out of two kayakers!
Submitted by Katie Conroy
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