SWIMMING WITH THE MANATEES

Look at the nostrils
 BEAUTIFUL MORNING IN CRYSTAL RIVER
 SNOOTY BRADENTON’S 65 YR OLD MANATEE
IN THE AQUARIUM DOWNTOWN
 SNOOTY HAVING A SNACK
 
 
 THE BIRTHDAY GIRL
DEBBIE MOLONEY KAYAK PROFESSIONAL
 
 DEBBIE ANNOUNCED SHE WANTED TO SWIM WITH THE MANATEES FOR HER 65TH BIRTHDAY.  WE BOOKED A TOUR WITH CAPTAIN STACY THE MANATEE EXPERT AND RENTED KAYAKS FOR THE DAY BEFORE TO EXPLORE THE RIVER AND THE FAMOUS SPRINGS


 
 
THREE SISTERS SPRINGS
 
WE SAW LOTS OF WILDLIFE AND MANATEES AND ENJOYED SEEING LOTS OF ANIMALS AT THE HOMOSASSA WILDLIFE REFUGE. ALSO HAD A GREAT LUNCH AT AN AUTHENTIC NEW ORLEANS RESTAURANT OWNED BY SOMEONE IN LYNARD SKINNER.  DINNER WAS OVERLOOKING THE RIVER WITH A CLOSE VIEW OF A LITTLE ISLAND FILLED WITH REAL LIVE MONKEYS,  THIS WAS A HUGE AMOUNT OF EXCITEMENT FOR THE LITTLE VILLAGE GIRLS FROM BRADENTON.  WE DID NOT GET INTO THE WEEKI WATCHEE LIVE MERMAID UNDERWATER SHOW SINCE THE WHOLE WORLD CAME TO SEE IT THAT DAY.-NEXT TIME.
 
 OUR MANATEE WATCHING EXPERIENCE WAS FABULOUS. SINCE THE SPRINGS ARE 72′ YEAR ROUND WE WORE WET SUITS.  DEBBIE PLUNGED RIGHT IN AND STARTED PETTING THE MANATEE AND THE BABY ROLLED NEXT TO HER AND PATTED HER WITH IT’S LITTLE FLIPPER. 
 
  I WAS GETTING SHUSHED BY CAPT STACY FOR SQUEALING TOO MUCH.  THE MOTHER  (SIZE OF A BUS)  WAS SWIMMING UNDER ME AND I WAS AFRAID OF GETTNG SMUSHED.   TURNS OUT MANATEES HAVE NO TEETH,  AND  ARE  VERY  VERY GENTLE.  THE MOTHER CALLS THE BABY WITH A SQUEEK AND FEEDS THE BABY FOR 2 YEARS WITH A TEAT UNDER HER FLIPPER.  THE BABY CAME UP TO OUR MASK AND GAVE US A LITTLE SMOOCH. IT WAS A GREAT EXPERIENCE.
 
ON THE WAY HOME WE HAD ANOTHER FAB LUNCH LOOKING AT THE WATER AND STOPPED TO FILL OUR POCKETS AT THE HARD ROCK CASINO.  KIND OF AN OXYMORON TYPE WEEKEND BUT THAT’S THE STORY AND WE ARE STICKING TO IT.
 
WE PLAN TO RETURN IN THE WINTER WHEN THE MANATEES ARE THERE BY THE HUNDREDS HANGING OUT IN THE CRYSTAL SPRINGS STAYING WARM.   CRYSTAL RIVER IS THE ONLY PLACE IN THE WORLD WHERE IT IS LEGAL TO TOUCH A MANATEE. 
 
LATER THAT WEEK AT HOME WE VISITED SNOOTY THE WORLD’S OLDEST MANATEE WHO LIVES IN OUR AQUARIUM DOWNTOWN.  THE MUSEUM AND SNOOTY ARE A FABULOUS PART OF OUR TOWN.
 
GET OUT AND PLAY AND KNOW WE LOVE YOU ALL AND SEND YOU ONLY BEST WISHES.
 
FONDLY N/D

 

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