Swimming with Manatees

Trip Start Mar 13, 2011
1
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Trip End May 01, 2011


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Flag of United States  , Florida
Sunday, March 20, 2011

Did you ever swim with a manatee?  You must!

Captain Jake took us out on his fishing boat onto the coastal waterways, where the manatees come for warm weather during the winter.  It was a beautiful sunny day with blue skies.  We donned our wetsuits and snorkel gear, and into the icy cold river we went.  Floating on our stomachs, we paddled around, looking for the little guys. 

Now, we read about the manatees before we went, and we watched videos about them.  We knew they were vegetarians; we knew they showed absolutely no fear or aggression toward humans.  But when we actually swam in the same water with them, and came upon them in their natural habitat, our breathing quickened and we all sucked in more water than we intended.  It is quite intimidating seeing them up close and personal.  Their size alone is overwhelming!  We took deep, calming breaths.  "Okay," we told ourselves, "We can do this."  Then, the manatees came up for air.  If we had not panicked and splashed out of their way, they would have bumped into us.  We breathed again.  We noticed they were not even looking at us.  We really didn't seem to bother them.  Soon, we got up the courage to reach out and pat them.  And eventually we were swimming alongside a mama and a calf, petting their bellies and fins and backs.  I wished I was a manatee!  What an amazing and beautiful experience! 

(I wish I had the actual manatees on film.  Alas, I don't have an underwater camera.  And I didn't want to miss the experience by being behind the camera.  I added a couple movie shots you might enjoy, though.)
Slideshow Report as Spam

Comments

ellyn Myller on

You have the life! Happy for you!!

Krysta MacGray on

What a fun experience!

Donna Kuechehmeister on

I can't believe how much the kids are growing up. It looks like you are making some awesome family memories. Thanks for the postings.

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