Saturday, January 21, 2012

Aerial View

We indulged in Bob's Christmas gift yesterday--a quick trip to Wakulla Springs.  We've been to the Springs a lot--but always in a car, and we view things from ground (or water) level.  This time we popped into a wee tiny helicopter, courtesy of Tallahassee Helicopters.  Not quite a radio controlled helicopter, but not much bigger.

Takin off in helicopters is such a strange sensation.  In planes, even small ones, you have the race down the runway until you get enough speed to finally jump into the air.  In a helicopter, you just have the sensation that someone has a string on a fishing pole and is just picking you and and swinging you where you need to go (I keep thinking of the flying saucers in the old Ed Wood movies).

We flew over the forests--rather voyeurstically  looking down on the houses below--and could glimpse the coast.  Soon we were approaching the Wakulla lodge and the diving dock (hmmm--no one seemed to be swimming today--with the air temps in the 50's, you'd think the 68-degree water would feel warmer than it does in the summer). I have to admit to feeling a little smug because some people on the dock were looking at the helicopter with that envious "that's so cool" look on their faces--and *we* were the ones being cool.

  A sweep down the river showed a surprising number of manatees (you can see one in this picture) as well as the more expected alligators and turtles--and a lot of really annoyed birds.  The advertisments for the flight specified "low level" which turned out to be almost treetop height.  We have been to the springs many times, but it's a completely different perspective from 70 feet or so up.

Conclusion--if you have to get from Point A to Point B and time is important, then a plane is the way to go.  For sightseeing--go for the helicopter!

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