A Tail in the Florida Keys

Posted: February 12, 2009 by Jeff Fabiszewski in Florida Kayaking, Florida Keys Expedition

The unusual things make memories. Before paddling in the Florida Keys, my memorable stories of past events have been about rogue water features, the confused aquatic life, or a memorable time at the boat launch. Well one night during an attempt to paddle around the Florida Keys several four legged mammals made the evening something to remember.

On the third night, we made camp at a designated kayak camping key. It looked as if we were the first people to have ever camped there. My two friends hung their Tree Hugger Hammocks and I pitched my MSR tent.  It was just a normal evening. Although, as the sun disappeared into the horizon, we began to hear a commotion down by our kayaks. We walked down to the only sandy part of the beach thinking that we could help some fellow paddlers land their kayaks.

There was no sign of life on the small beach. The idea of a raccoon scurrying seemed like a possible idea, but I saw no tracks. We still put rocks on top of the hatches and returned to camp. Just in case we were sharing the small island with some four legged friends we placed our food into a bear-bag and suspended it in a tree.

By this time, the sun was gone but not the sound of activity coming from the trees. Then tiny eyes appeared. Rats were the owners of this island. Well they kept an eye on us, and we gave them little thought as we went to bed. The three of us believed there was nothing in camp that would be of an interest to them.

Well we were wrong. The three of us did have something that rats found interesting. For a while, the symphony of snoring from my paddling friends lulled me to sleep until an excited rat started having fun. The rat ran up the side of my tent and slid down the tarp. All night the rats played on the guidelines over the hammocks and sliding down our tarps. I guess they were board.

They never got into the food. Nor did they do any damage to our gear. And they left us with a cool story to tell.

—Jeff

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Comments
  1. Stacey Hillman says:

    HI JEFF,
    I CAME ACROSS YOUR BLOG PAGE WHEN I WAS ENTERING MY MAIDEN NAME, BEING FABISZEWSKI IN A GOOGLE SEARCH. I SAW THAT YOU WAS FROM THE PITTS AREA, I GREW UP IN WASHINGTON, PA. I THOUGHT WE MAY BE RELATED?? I DID NOT KNOW MY FATHER’S PATERNAL SIDE MUCH. MY GRANDFATEHR PASSED AWAY WHEN I WAS 3 OR SO. I DO HAVE A PICTURE OF MY GREAT-GRANDPARENTS AND THEIR 13?? CHILDREN. MY FAMILY AND I WERE DOWN YOUR WAY IN AUG 08 AT DISCOVERY COVE AND THEN ON TO CLEARWATER BEACH… LOVELY TIME. MY HUSBAND AND I ENJOY WATER SPORTS. WE BOTH SCUBA.. HAVE BEEN TO THE SPRINGS..DEVIL’S DEN…GENNIE, MANATEE. WE DON’T FIND MUCH TIME WITH OUR YOUNG FAMILY NOW THOUGH I LOOK FOWARD TO GETTING BACK INTO DIVING. I DON’T MUCH CARE TO DIVE IN OUR AREA….I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU IF YOU FEEL LIKE A REPLY. YOU LOOK LIKE YOU’RE HAVING FUN AND ENJOYING LIFE!!

  2. Hi Stacey, we probably are related. Fabiszewski is not a common name in PA. I grew up in Peters Township, and my Dad grew up in Baldwin. My Dad and his Dad both have the first name of John. My Grandfather John Boleslaw Fabiszewski had several brothers he died in 1959. One set of our relatives changed the spelling of Fabiszewski to Fabiseski.

    I have one son who is five months old. And since his birth I have been getting into discovering our family’s ancestry. I would be interesting in seeing the photo of your great-grandparents and their 13 children.

    I have a lot of friends who dive; I just have not gotten into that sport yet. But I have visited the locations you mentioned.

    I look forward to hearing back from you.

  3. John Fabiseski says:

    I live in Northeastern PA my name is JOHN FABISESKI think we might be related !!!!

  4. Hi John, we probably are related. I also have a cousin from Library, Pennsylvania that shares your last name (Bryon Fabiseski) Are you also related to Raymond? Are you living around Indianola?

  5. sbobet says:

    I love it when people get together and share ideas.
    Great blog, continue the good work!

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