Last week, my company’s revenue team1 descended on New Orleans to talk strategy, share information, and knock back a few hurricanes. We also did some team-building events, and the one I was looking forward to the least — an airboat ride on the swamps of Louisana — turned out to be one of my favorites.
I was anticipating sweat and bugs. Instead, I got to get up close and personal with a few of Louisiana’s three million alligators.
Here are some of the things I learned on our excursion:
Alligators Like Candy
I was shocked to learn that alligators like marshmallows. Yes, marshmallows — the things you put in s’mores and hot chocolate.2
The next time I head out to the bayou, I’m going to bring a box of Peeps. I wonder if alligators would prefer chicks or bunnies.
The Swamp Is More Beautiful Than I Expected
I’m the sort of guy who thinks roughing it means staying in a hotel with less than four stars. It’s no surprise, then, that I have never visited a swamp. I expected an ugly, sticky, godforsaken place with banjo music playing in the background.
The swamp was actually more pleasant than I anticipated. It was a comfortable day with low humidity, and we got to experience the golden hour right before sunset.
On our way from Lafitte to Lake Salvador, we saw quite a few large homes. We also saw one boat that was less than seaworthy:
Airboat Captains Are Insane
Meet Captain Danny.
Gators Are Cute (As Long as They’re Small)
About an hour into our trip, Captain Danny opened a blue cooler under his chair and introduced us to his buddy, Little Ed. He was adorable.
The trick to holding a baby gator is to grasp the tail firmly with one hand and put the other under his belly.
Airboats Are Pretty Damn Fast
I estimate we were going about 30 mph (18 kph). Perhaps a little more.
I used the Action mode on my iPhone to take this video, so it looks somewhat smooth. Actually, going fast in an airboat is choppy. I’m glad we had seat belts.
Would I Do It Again?
I had more fun than I expected on our airboat ride. I wouldn’t go out of my way to do it again, but I wouldn’t rule it out either.
1 I can hear you saying, “Hey, Dave, you’re in marketing, not sales!” Yes, you’re right, and thank you for following me on LinkedIn. Since my company is small, marketing and sales are combined into one team and report to the Chief Revenue Officer. This is the first time I’ve worked somewhere that doesn’t have siloed marketing and sales teams, and I love it.
2 Marshmallows are also the form Gozer the Destroyer took when he attacked New York: