Let’s go Swimming with the Manatees! Ok, that sounds cool, let’s do it!
It was a beautiful day, I believe it was 82 degrees!
I know, I know, stop bragging about Florida weather in March because “we still have 2′ of snow!” Sorry, not sorry! (We will have our turn at suffering in August!)
So. if you are going on a boat ride, that’s the type of weather you like, clear, sunny warm and no wind. So we were all good on that front.
Now water is one thing I respect, ok fear (a little bit)!
So when the guide said, “now take a “noodle” slide gently into the water, and no kicking or splashing.” Uhm, I thought that’s how you swim, kicking your legs for propulsion, flailing your arms about to help you navigate and pull you through the water. But, no, we are just going to slide into the water and hope to float our way to where ever these magnificent beasts are carelessly floating about!
Well, it was a little frustrating to start. By the time I worked my way over to where the rest of the group was, they were on their way back to the boat! But, as you can tell, well because you are reading this, I survived! And, yes I finally got to see a manatee for myself before it floated away.
You should also be warned…
there are pirates in those waters! (ok so, it was a friendly “Jack Sparrow” on a paddle board and he was really nice, but he was still a pirate!
That’s how a lot of Denise’s and my conversations start out. Let’s go…
Some might say we have “adventure in our veins” and, that would be true. You should know though that most of our adventures are not spur of the moment. They start with “hey, let’s” and then the planning starts. In this case, Groupon was our friend and we were able to score two tickets for one low price.
If you would like to see manatees in their natural habitat, there are pods of manatees near Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, in Florida on the Gulf of Mexico. In colder weather, they look for warm, underwater springs.
This adventure was handi-capable.
I was able to get the wet suit on over my leg! Although you will not see any pictures below the neck of me in a wet suit! (thank your lucky stars!). There was a shuttle from the dive shop to the dock, and boarding the boat was easy. When we were in the water, we had a guide who watched over us and could help us back to the boat should we have trouble navigating in the water.
There were 8 of us on the pontoon boat, Captain John, Sidney our guide and six excited passengers. (maybe I should
If you are in Florida and interested in swimming with the manatees, you should check out our friends at SeaDaddy’s!
Do you have ideas for new adventures for Denise and me? You can email us here!
Let me share with you the most important thing I have discovered. Where ever you go, whatever you see, share it with others! Don’t be afraid to stop and smell the roses, to share a smile with a stranger, a meal with friends and build memories together that will last a lifetime! – Mr. Bill