Saturday, July 13, 2013

Swimming With The Manatees

Before Aric even came to stay for the week with us, we planned a trip to swim with the manatees with him.  Nathan and I went last year and enjoyed the experience so much, we highly recommended it to Aric.  This trip was with a much bigger group.  We had less encounters with manatees and the water was cloudy, making it impossible to see the manatees.  I decided to stay on the boat and take pictures and let the guys hang out with the manatees.  It was still a great day even with those factors.
According to the information they gave us, this is the only place you can swim alongside the West Indian Manatee.  In the winter, they estimate up to 700 manatees are in this area.  During this time of the year that drops to 70.  They are not sure why some migrate north and some stay put here in Florida.  We encountered a mama and her baby.  You are not allowed to touch babies until they reach a certain age/size but it is still neat to see them like we did last year.  It is amazing how gentle the manatees are for their size.  They are not intimidating at all to hang out with, beyond I would not want to be trapped underneath one!
I hope we can make this trip with all of our kids at some point.  It is one of the neatest animal encounters that we've ever experienced!