"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

April 11, 2011

April 10 – Tarpon Springs, FL

Day 35 - Swimming with Manatees
The Landing at Tarpon Springs

What a great day. We drove over to Crystal River and took a VIP Swim with the Manatees Tour. It was just the two of us and one other couple. It's getting late in the season for manatees to be in this area and they are getting harder to find. They like the springs around Crystal River in the winter, because the water temperature stays at a constant 72 degrees. This time of year when the Gulf warms up they begin to move out into the open waters. Captain Mike gave us a great tour of the area and then found a group of five or six manatees for us to swim with. They have already moved out of the springs and into the river, so the clarity of the water wasn't very good. You could only see about three or four feet in front of you. They pop up next to you before you know it...a little startling to have that big an animal rub up against you out of no where, but very exciting and a lot of fun. They are very hard and feel rough to the tough. After our swim Mike took us up to the springs where they like staying in the winter.  On the way we got a good look at a manatee that was orphaned and raised with dolphins.  They released her back into the springs...to keep an eye on her they have placed a satellite tracker on her.  So she is pretty easy to spot.  Mike told us that she acts more like a dolphin and the other manatees don't like her much.  She is more active and wants to play.  We did a little snorkeling in the springs...the water was unbelievably clear and cold.  I was glad I had the wet suit on.

On the drive back we stopped at a flea market...lots of junk, nothing we needed.  After cleaning up on the boat we took advantage of our rental car and drove around the area a little.  This is a beautiful town, some very nice parks.  We are enjoying our time here.  We went to another Greek restaurant for dinner, Hellas, it's one of the locals favorites and it was very good.

I hope this video works...I think you can enlarge the scene when it starts.
Some of the scenery we saw a long the river
 What a cute couple!
 That's me in the middle and the tail of the manatee I'm petting on the left
 Me and another manatee
 White Ibis
 The orphaned manatee
She was rolling around having a great time showing off for us

1 comment:

  1. thanks for the cake, Judy:)