They didn't have sun screen or swim trunks. They came unannounced and slid discreetly into backyard pools.
Alligator spotting in Tampa Bay may be common, but how often is that two relatively recent transplants from up north find the reptiles getting cozy in their pools on the same day?
Elizabeth Foster, 53, of Temple Terrace, and Nancy Bloch, 50, of Palm Harbor, found the gators in their enclosed pools Wednesday evening. The two woman don't know each other, but find it funny — and surprising — that they both faced gator break-ins this week.
Foster moved to Florida from upstate New York about six years ago; Bloch from New Jersey about two years ago.
Foster's gator was about 9-1/2 feet long. Bloch's, about 7-1/2.
That's obviously not an expected backyard visitor where the women grew up.
"I know alligators are a part of Florida living," Foster said, "but what I learned was that the trappers really only see one to two a year in pools."
Both women called the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to send over trappers.
But Foster's mammoth gator — who she named the Loch Ness Monster — took three trappers to wrangle. She captured much of the process on camera.
After the heavy rainfall Wednesday, Foster wanted to turn her pool pump on. She went outside with her maltese pup Fiji when she saw the reptile lounging surface level in the water just after 5 p.m.
"She didn't bark. I don't think she knew it was there at the time," Foster said of the dog. "But I certainly did, and my first reaction was to scoop her up and run in the house."
Bloch's pit bull, Missy, was the one who first spotted the Palm Harbor intruder late at night. She barked madly. Bloch expected it to be something like an armadillo, not an alligator. "He was a big boy," Bloch said.
But the New Jersey native wasn't frightened by the beast. She had an adrenaline rush, she said, and as a wilderness lover she was fascinated by the process.
She even got to touch the gator — once his massive snapper was taped shut by the professionals, of course.
Foster's YouTube video of her gator's capture had nearly 2,800 views by late Friday morning. It was more than she ever anticipated, especially because she suspects Florida folks are used to gator living.
"I guess it's not so strange to see one walking down the street," Foster said, "but to have it in your enclosed pool has been capturing people."
Contact Sara DiNatale at email@example.com or (813) 226-3400. Follow @sara_dinatale.