Tag Archives: Manatee encounter

Melody’s Adventures-Mantees

14 Apr

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix

Another wonderful adventure in diving fresh water is to swim with the manatees. This is typically done just with snorkeling gear. There are not many places you can do this because in most places it is unlawful. However, in Crystal River, Florida in Citrus County, you can experience one of the most wonderful encounter with nature you can have. 

There are rules and guidelines for interacting with them. Since manatees are an endangered species, they are protected by law. But here your encounter is up-close and personal.  Local tour operators and nature guides provide a variety of options for experiencing these awesome creatures. From swimming, kayaking, and paddle-boarding to snorkeling and diving, there are many ways to meet a manatee while you’re here! You can also rent a boat and spend the day there. This is my favorite thing to do.

I will never forget my first experience. We rented a boat and headed for Kings Bay. It was winter and the manatees come here for the warmth of the springs around the area. Once we spotted some, we slipped into the water with our mask and snorkel.

 The water was a little cloudy and I couldn’t see very far in the distance. All I could see was something huge swimming towards me. I had seen many manatees from the boat, but when this massive creature came into view, fear came over me for an instant. This beautiful creature was the size of a Volkswagen. Once I realized that manatees are such gentle creatures that never intend to harm you, I became ecstatic at the thrill of this moment. I reached out my hand and we made contact with each other. I stoked it’s thick rough skin. It gently turned itself over for a tummy rub. Not all, but many manatees enjoy the human touch. Maybe these are mermaids after all. 

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