An air boat is powered by a giant propeller enclosed in a protective metal cage at the rear of the craft, similar in appearance to a big fan. The propeller blades produce the necessary force to move the air boat forward over water or terrain. The one we rode on had 7 seats in front of the propeller - 6 for passengers plus 1 for the captain/guide.
Incidentally, the first air boat, called the Ugly Duckling, was built in 1905 in Nova Scotia by a team led by Dr. Alexander Graham Bell. It was used to test various engines and prop configurations. An associate of Dr. Bell, Glenn Curtiss (of airplane manufacturing fame) is reported to have registered the first air boat in Florida in 1920.
The location of the company was a little remote but our handy GPS took us right to the door.
We were early and no one was around so a chance to pose for a few pictures while we waited:
|Jim and Judy|
Then the other two men who were riding with us arrived and lastly, right on time, Captain Darald and Captain Dee appeared. We all hopped on the boat - except Captain Dee. She took this picture and stayed behind to run the office (and dog sit Tara - THANK YOU again)
|Arch wanted to sit up front so there we are!|
Then we were off. This heron bid us good by from the dock:
|The meanest bird alive according to Captain Darald. More about that in another blog.|
We went slowly down this beautiful channel:
And out into the marshes that surround the lake.
Captain Darald was expert guide:
|The boat is in the marsh here and he is sitting on the front edge.|
He told us so much about the natural world in in this area that it will take two or three more blog posts to tell you about it.
To learn more about this part of Florida they recommend the book "A Land Remembered" by Patrick Smith, which I now have on my kindle. Really a good story.