The Wharf Rats of Teachers Island



Last night after dinner we built a fire and sat around relaxing. This was after dark of course. Jimmy was sitting next to me and shouted “What the hell is that?” He saw movement about 10 feet from us and just outside the illumination of the fire. Then he yelled “Rat!”. It was a wharf rat. The rodent jumped up on a tree stump looked at us then scurried off. Before long we spotted a dozen more. Night time is rat time.

These rats were large. So large, in fact, if we had a saddle we could have ridden them around the island bucking bronco style. Obviously there is no snake population here and we aren’t traveling with a cat.

Our concern was the rats would chew through our tents in search of food. There was no food in our tents but they did their best in “reconning” the area. We could see their shadows lurking through the thin nylon walls of our tents all night long. Backlit by the Miami skyline.

We survived the night. No rat bites or damaged tents.

We awoke to bands of rain drifting through. During a lull we launched and headed North to Oleta River State Park where we rented a small cabin. Very rustic.

The urban environment in this section of the trail gives us mixed thoughts. We rarely see aquatic life even though we paddled over a pod of manatees in the channel. The one thing we do see is the fantastic architecture of all the mansions that line the Intercostal Waterway here. Different than we’re use to.

More later….

Marc and Jim



About Kayak Around Florida

We're two guys who paddled kayaks around Florida.
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5 Responses to The Wharf Rats of Teachers Island

  1. Maryellen self says:

    LOL thanks for the visual of you 2guys riding around the campfire on the rodeo rats! Yeehaw indeed!!! Glad you and your tents survived the night of the roaming rats! Hope you’ll enjoy many more moments with the manatees. I just saw one the other day in the canal just as I was headed out to kayak. Did a little saltwater fishing today and caught a lot of different kinds of fish with a keeper mackerel. Caught puffer fish, white grunt, yellowtail snapper, a hogfish, 2 catfish, and caught a brown pelican with a grunt! Mark caught a 22″ grouper but not the season and 2″ short. Great day of fishing! Thought of you 2guys as we were very close to the area where you 2guys came through the 7-mile bridge from Florida Bay. Big area of water. You 2guys have done some mind-boggling paddling. Glad you have each other through all the challenges and the rewards! Blessings and prayers as you paddle on and around!

  2. Big George says:

    I guess you checked the Yaks for Hitch hikers before you put it to Sea??

  3. Did you paddle through or by the manatees? Hope it was by them! :>) Jean

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