The Kayak Chronicles

by Darren Caffery

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THE SEARCH FOR THE FORGE POND ALLIGATOR

It was the Fall of 2000, and Tiss, Lisa and I paddled amidst the vivid Forge Pond foliage.  Although Forge Pond was my usual local weekend paddling spot, this was no ordinary day.  I was running a little late from oversleeping and in the morning after a late night,  it's always hard for me to get into high gear quickly, even with the anticipation of a paddling trip.

As I was loading my paddling gear for the trip, I heard my phone ringing in the house.  Unless someone was bailing out last minute on a paddle plan, my phone usually doesn't ring that early on a Saturday morning, so I decided to go inside to answer it.  It was my sister, with a slightly rushed tone in her voice.

"Oh good, I caught you....I wanted to warn you before you decided to go kayaking that I just heard a report that an alligator was spotted on Forge Pond."

I laughed but asked her for all the details she had anyway.  Apparently, a news report on NJ101.5 radio had reported that yesterday, a number of people from two different local marinas had spotted a 5-6 foot  alligator in the Metedeconk River, near the mouth of Forge Pond in Brick Township.  The local and state police were also notified and responded by calling the Department of Fish, Game and Wildlife who reportedly sent out "officials' to investigate the sighting.  

After I got all the details I assured her, "I doubt it's true, or that an alligator could even survive in the water here, besides I wasn't paddling today anyway".

"Oh good, I was afraid you may have already left" , she replied.

I thanked her for calling and then got back to packing my gear for the trip which now took on a whole new purpose.  Personally, I felt it was a hoax, but I figured I'd go check it out.  Maybe there was a bounty.

TO BE CONTINUED

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