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Crocodile Spotted at the Deering Estate

Kayak For Sale at Miami Beach
August 06, 2007 By Gus in Miami: Travel News  | 28 Comments

Michelle pointing to the spot where the sighting took place.

Michelle and I recently purchased a 2-person Ocean Kayak. We took it out on Sunday for our maiden voyage. At around 6pm, while kayaking in front of the boat basin at the Deering Estate, a crocodile almost capsized our boat.

Not 90 seconds after putting the kayak in the water, we were approaching the entrance to the boat basin, and mistakenly spooked a crocodile that was laying below the water.

The animal jerked so hard and whipped it’s tail, it drenched us both with water - I’ve never been so scared - we were no more than 4 feet away. The beast must have been at least 7 feet long.

Honestly, I was in shock. At first, I didn’t know what it was. I saw a dark gray shape, but the only thing I could imagine was a sea monster, a ferocious manatee, or a goliath grouper. From what I saw, the thing looked prehistoric!

Michelle thought it was a Hollywood-style special effect, an underwater air cannon designed to keep boats from entering the basin. That seemed plausible to me. The explosion of water reminded me of the Jaws ride at Universal Studios, it was big, like when someone does a cannonball into a swimming pool. The kayak rocked hard and we both got soaked!

It really didn’t dawn on us until we got back to dry land what it was.

The crocodile warning sign clearly states - Caution Crocodiles in the Area.

There’s a crocodile warning sign right next to the canoe launch, I saw it, but paid it no mind. I thought it must be a relic from when John Deering lived there.

We are seriously considering selling the kayak. If we do, the Craigslist ad will read something like this…

2 Man Ocean Kayak For Sale - This package includes the Ocean Kayak (Yellow) w/ 2 premium seats, 2 paddles - Almost Brand New!

Michelle feeling much more safe kayaking in the pool.

As we were leaving, a Park Ranger told us a women saw a crocodile 2 days earlier.

I thought there was only alligators in Florida.

I’m trying to convince Michelle to not sell the boat.

Michelle standing in front of the Stone House at the Deering Estate

About the Deering Estate:
The Deering Estate at Cutler is not only unique in natural beauty; it also includes historical buildings dating from 1896 to 1922, important archaeological sites that date human presence on this land to 10,000 years ago and animals back 100,000 years, and a Native American burial mound dating from around the year 1600 (see: map).

Related Categories: Miami: Travel News,

Gus Moore heads up Miami Beach 411 as site administrator. You can reach him at 1-305-754-2206.

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28 Comments on

"Crocodile Spotted at the Deering Estate"

Suzy says:

LOL @ Michelle in the pool and her ‘explanation.’  See Gus, the signs are there for a reason!

Posted on 08/06/2007 at 6:24 PM

Michelle says:

It was so surreal, I couldn’t believe it could be an animal. I only saw the huge splash and the sign that said “No boats beyond this point”. It seemed like the least scariest explanation. Maybe I’ve been to Disney World too many times!

I was ready to climb up on the wall at the Deering Estate, haul the kayak out of the water, and run the other way.

Posted on 08/06/2007 at 10:19 PM

mkh says:

The Deering Estate is beautiful. When I was last there I saw several manatees, but some of the “locals” told me that crocs are a fairly common sight, too.

I’m glad you made it out alive!

Posted on 08/07/2007 at 8:04 AM

Maria de los Angeles says:

No, no, no!  Don’t sell it!  Give it another chance.  Crocs are endangered.  There is a growing and stabilizing population because they are safeguarded at the Turkey Point cooling ponds.  The only reason it reacted that way is because you inadvertently spooked it.  Unprovoked, they will leave you alone.  The bay is a wonderful place to explore!  If you do insist on selling the kayak I know a girl who lives in Miami Beach who might want it grin

Posted on 08/07/2007 at 9:57 AM

Maria de los Angeles says:

Gus, last time I checked, the crocodile protected area extends well into Card Sound road and northern Key Largo (Lake Surprise).

The only croc I ever saw was actually in the Everglades, near the dock of Flamingo Bay.  Alligators are of course dime a dozen.  It’s easy to identify:  crocs, brown; gators, green.

Posted on 08/07/2007 at 10:08 AM

Dottie says:

We told you there were crocodiles around there. They captured one on Fisher Island a while ago.
I’m sure he was just as surprised as you two were.
Don’t sell the kyak, give it another try.

Happy Birthday, Michelle!

Posted on 08/08/2007 at 4:32 PM

Michelle says:

Thanks, Grandma! And Happy Birthday to you too!

Posted on 08/08/2007 at 5:34 PM

Suzy says:

I’ll stay out of the kayak sale debate but news update: Fish and Wildlife agents have a croc trap set-up in Gables by the Sea…..LOOK WHAT YOU STARTED GUS, A CROC WITCH HUNT!
All joking aside, it’s being done because the croc killed a few pets.

Posted on 08/09/2007 at 12:15 PM

Terry says:


Sell the Kayak!
(to me!)

Ok, kidding.  Seriously, though, scary.  I haven’t seen a croc yet, but I know S Fl is the only place in the world where you can find both.  That must’ve been terrifying.

Posted on 08/20/2007 at 3:53 PM

Suzy says:

I “showed” your kayak to someone yesterday and attached the Crocodile Story as the motivation for the sale. 



Posted on 08/20/2007 at 4:15 PM

Michelle says:

Hi Terry, thanks for the comment. It was pretty scary. Of course, I didn’t actually see the croc, just felt and saw the effects of the monster.

Now that a couple of weeks have passed, I think we will try it again this weekend.

If you are looking to purchase a kayak, we purchased ours, used, from Sailboards Miami on Key Biscayne. They are really friendly and gave us a great deal.

I just checked out your site. I like your writing and subscribed to your RSS feed.

Posted on 08/20/2007 at 4:22 PM

Justin Dewberry says:

It was almost surely a manatee I experienced the same thing yesterday. If it was a crocodile he would not have made the wake and the waves. Don’t sell the kayak enjoy the scenery. I thought Moses was parting the Red Sea when this Manatee took off.

Posted on 09/07/2007 at 11:45 AM

sasha says:

how much is the kayak?

Posted on 06/10/2008 at 8:01 PM

Grant Bloodgood says:

I’m looking for a kayak.  My name is Grant.  Please give me a call at 786-280- 5535 if you decide to sell.

Posted on 09/20/2008 at 12:13 PM

everton sylvester says:

i, too, am looking for a kayak.  if it doesn’t wotk out with grant, please give me a call 917 554 8206

Posted on 01/27/2009 at 12:37 AM

Croc-of-it says:

forget the kayak…if your hot, give me a call.

Posted on 03/12/2009 at 10:27 PM

Carmen says:

How much is 2 Man Ocean Kayak For Sale - This package includes the Ocean Kayak (Yellow) w/ 2 premium seats, 2 paddles - Almost Brand New!

Posted on 04/10/2009 at 3:43 PM

Gus says:

Sorry, everyone. The kayak is no longer for sale. Michelle and I lost our fear of crocodiles. I suggest searching Craigslist, if you still want to buy one.

Posted on 04/12/2009 at 8:15 PM

Mrs. Deering says:

It’s Charles Deering adn that sign was put up by the Parks dept several years after his death. Maybe you shoudl sell that kayak! By the way why were you there after hours?

Posted on 06/23/2009 at 8:27 PM

Christine says:

I’ll buy the kayak, i’m looking for one just like that one.

Posted on 09/11/2009 at 7:27 AM

Paul Barns says:

how much and location ?

Posted on 11/21/2009 at 3:13 PM

Michelle says:

Sorry, Paul. The kayak is no longer for sale.

Posted on 11/22/2009 at 11:51 AM

yasser says:

consider yourself lucky.

Posted on 05/21/2010 at 1:25 PM

Michelle says:

I should say so smile

Posted on 05/21/2010 at 2:38 PM

Don Gist says:

I am looking for a Kayak, actually 2.  What are you asking for yours?

Posted on 06/14/2010 at 5:29 PM

Michelle says:

It’s not for sale; we were just kidding. Thank you for asking though!

Posted on 06/15/2010 at 7:35 AM

Gianni X says:

I live less than a mile from here and regurarly kayak the waters, especially around chicken key… Youd be lucky to find a goliath grouper. Ive combed these waters both in and out of a kayak, im an avid spearfishermen and i can tell youd be lucky to find any sizable fish. Only wildlife ive seen in the area are stingrays, blacktip baby sharks,lobster and a rare occurences of snook and American crocodiles(whichare not as aggressive as one might think). The reasoning behind the area not containing much fish is because it is a deadzone meaning very small amount of oxygen found in water not good for new life.              With that said you guys are pussies, grade A bitches and idgaf about you and your wife taking pics with irrelevant pieces of history/ swimming pools. Fuck outtta here, making the place lame n shii.

Posted on 04/18/2016 at 7:09 AM

Gianni X says:

You were lucky to be graced with the presence of such a majestic creature. People like you dont appreciate interactions of the sort and should leave south florida and never come back. Listen to your busted ass wife sell the boat and move to cleveland where you belong my nigga. 7 foot croc is a fuckin baby and im guessin its smaller ppl always exaggerative size when they shit their pants. Shouldve been more on point and not have fucked with homeboys vibe. I wish he wouldve taken a bite out of you and your wife so the move to cleveland wouldve actually been viable

Posted on 04/18/2016 at 7:13 AM

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