Posted by: noadventure | August 3, 2014

Bayou Segnette FAIL

Editor’s note: Another entertaining post from writer Whitney Mackman.
Bayou Segnette State Park
For a brief moment in my life, paddleboarding caught my interest. I tried it once and decided to get my own inflatable paddleboard.  While conducting future adventure research on Googlemaps, I discovered a cluster of homes, or a fishing camp, only accessible by boat in a small bayou off Lake Cataoahouchie, where Jean Lafitte Park begins. Five miles in, five miles out, this would be an easy trip for a kayak since the average person can kayak between 3-5 mph. A paddleboard, however, can maybe go 1-2 mph. DOWN RIVER.

Barataria SignKayak

The park is located across the Mississippi, not to far from New Orleans over in Westwego. There is a boat launch with parking, and there is where I decided to set off. Most boats were respectful and slowed down, but there were a few instances were we had to have paddles up to be seen. A Wildlife and Fisheries Agent was patrolling by boat, checking for lifejackets.
About 3 miles out, we take a break and drink a beer. We hear barking and see an alligator-like stick floating about 50 feet away, but we aren’t convinced. I lay back on my paddleboard and shut my eyes, tuning into nature. It is then I hear the bubbles.
I snap up, look over the edge of my board and see bubbles furiously shooting to the surface. I crawl to the other side of the board to get the puncture hole out of the water. My adventure buddy dries it off and applies duct tape that I rip off my backpack over the hole. In Hollywood timing, we hear barking again, this time louder, closer. We look up to notice the alligator stick has eyes and is now about 10 feet away. Right when we make eye contact, it slides in reverse under the water, just how alligators do. We scream, I start wildly paddling my board backwards, on my knees, away from where I last saw the gator. My buddy does the same, except he is much faster in his kayak. After a half-mile of crazy paddling, we relax. If he was going to take me, he would’ve.


We can’t rest long, however, as I am sailing a sinking ship. We slowly but surely make our way back to the boat launch just as the nose of my board starts dragging underwater.
On the way back a woman in a passing boat hollered, “Why aren’t you afraid of gators?”
“Oh, I am!” I hollered back. I just love adventure more. Correction: I love adventure in a kayak.


  1. Haha too funny, enjoyed reading your post! 25 years ago that place was infested with alligators I can only imagine how it is by now!!!

  2. So many others say that when I tell this story! I guess I should have done more research, I was just so eager to get that paddleboard out for an adventure. I’ll wait for clearer water next time I paddleboard. Lesson learned!

  3. Gators aint gonna bother you. Thats why he slid underwater….to get away from you. Youd have to attack one or be near their young for them to attack you. They’re scared of humans.

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