Today, I was in the middle of a three hour drive when the email alert of my phone woke me up from a deep sleep (I was dreaming about zombies, as per usual).  How do I sleep while driving, you ask?  That is my business, thank you very much.

I rubbed the sleepers from my eyes and checked the email while pedestrians dived out of the path of my oncoming vehicle.  Crushing news (crushing to me spiritually, but also literally to some of those pedestrians):  the cage-diving expedition that was scheduled for this coming weekend was cancelled.  I had a flight booked.  I had a Ford Pinto rented.  I had a sweet AirBnB swag-pad reserved.  I had my hair permed and hair-sprayed to the maximum.  Cage Diving…cancelled!

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First, I was disappointed for the sharks that I would have partied with down there in that warm Gulf stream water as I’m a real hum-dinger to spend time with.  Second, I was disappointed because I was really, really looking forward to this experience.  I mean, who wouldn’t want to get loaded up on Red Bull, get bucked naked, and get in a shark cage?  That got me thinking about writing this here blog about what trying to see wildlife is really like.  Hey, yo, it just doesn’t work out sometimes.

I hope to see you again one day, sweet cage.  Remember, you are there to protect the sharks from me.  Picture taken with an SVP Aqua that now rests at the bottom of a senote in the Yucatan.  RIP SVP Aqua!

Back when I was in short-pants (cut-off jean-shorts, naturally) I started to adventure in exotic places with the intent of getting weird with wildlife.  My expectation was to show up and then promptly see a metric crap-ton of wildlife.

I thought that I could show up in a wild place known to have animals and they would all be waiting for me with a nice greeting, “Hey, Mr. Id Eco Super-Eco. We knew that you were coming so we all gathered up here for you to inspect. Please keep your happy-hands to yourself as your reputation proceeds you.”

The reality is a whole lot of scenery and often very little to no wildlife.

I cannot see the forest through all of these damn trees

Sometimes the critters just don’t reveal themselves.  You can yell all the sweet things that you want in their general vicinity and they simply won’t reveal themselves.  It doesn’t work with women at the bus stop and it doesn’t work with wildlife.

Of course, it isn’t always that the wildlife is shy.  Sometimes the weather is too crappy to venture out.  Sometimes tour operators/guides, who are almost always entrepreneurs, have issues (like ol’ shark captain).  Sometimes the lodge that you were supposed to stay in burned down to the mutha f’n ground.  Shit.  Happens.

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If you adventure it is wise to go into the experience with a zen-like mindset that you might not see any wild beasts; that you are cool with being away from work or you might experience some kick-ass local culture or that your vast amazing simian mind could be blown by a landscape like this…

A jungle waterfall really is as close to a perfection as possible, zero critters spotted up to this point in the adventure

Or this…

I barely saw crap in a half a day of snorkeling and another 90 minutes of walking the shallows, but that beach though

Or this…

Scoured for leopards for days, but none.  This was a nice bonus of our hustling.

I have to wrap this blog up as I’ve been typing it while I am driving and the police seem to be really pissed off about it – you drive through one school playground while writing a blog and it is suddenly the end of the world.  Rest assured, perfectly shaped buttock reader, I’m still heading to Florida even with the now aborted cage-diving mission.  Less cage-diving means more time in the Everglades.  In fact, I just got an email from my people in the swamp (yeah, I have swamp people) that just said this, “With low water we have found some awesome python tracks.”  Python tracks!  Fist pummmmmmmmppppppp!!!!

Note:  I actually did find that python.  You can read about it here