Wednesday, 14 November 2012

And the high tide line rose half a metre when I got in....

So here I am in Florida, in my full body rubber suit, a million miles from home and from where anyone can ever find me, and I am hiding out in the Crystal River backwaters and springs ..... or maybe that's another story - "50 Shades Deeper: Into the Bayou".

The mighty hunter don's the appropriate clothing and shooting equipment
What mysteries lurk beneath the grey waters? Perhaps the Republicans' much feared 11% Latinos !

The first sighting! Grey rounded lumpy thing in water
Then it was time to get in and meet the dude
so here is a bit of time lapse photography - too many pictures to make for a great post, too few to make a movie ...

Out of the murky depths ...
The manatee approacheth...
With fear in his eyes, he wonders if he will have room to pass
rough and mossy - just how I like it
sidles back off into the distance
Thanks to Manatees in Paradise for the photos - Capt Stacy gets in the water with everyone and an underwater camera and snaps away.

Capt Stacy takes us to a variety of swimming spots. One is as crystal clear as a swimming pool in a glorious foresty setting.

They hang in the warm shallows for two reasons - it's where the sea grass can grow; and, despite their size, they have very little fat and need to stay warm in the sun. Unlike me. I have more blubbery insulation than a manatee! I was toasty!

The manatees are very placid and slow and practically swim head first into your boat propeller. As sharp as a box of hammers.
After 3 hours tootling about and jumping in and out of the water, we were all manatee'd out and headed back to shore. I think I had a cocktail making class to get to or something ......

And so we bade farewell to Mr Manatee with a "don't get hit by a boat on the way out", and am suddenly back in dock. Wetter but all the richer for this "once in a lifetime" experience. You certainly can't do this Australia. You have to get a permit just to get within 50 metres in Australia!

OK - so I STRONGLY recommend doing this - and doing it with Capt Stacy. There is no real physical exercise - as long as you can handle yourself floating in water and am comfortable using a snorkle. You could easily stand in most of the places we stopped.

It will be a blessed relief from the blazing June heat; it is cheap on the holiday finances; and Capt Stacy provides most things to make it easy.

How often do you get to go swimming with a manatee in the fancy schmancy housing estate waterfront canal system?!

Eye gouging - banned in most sports

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