Saturday, August 25, 2012

Manatees and Me....

Every once in awhile there is a day where I think "ok, maybe I like Florida a little" and today was one of those days.  The girls were all busy doing their own things.  Sydnee was home from college to do her second to last weekend at the Fort.  Natalie had gone to a friends house to spend the night and McKenlee had two friends sleeping over and they were camped out in her bedroom. (Literally, remember we have no furniture in that room right now so they were on air mattresses)  Dave asked what would you like to do today?  I thought about it and decided I wanted to go kayaking out at Fort De Soto park.

 I keep saying that I want to spend more time outside doing outdoorsy (is that a word?) things.  So we did. We packed a small cooler with some water and granola bars, loaded my Aunt's Kayaks into the truck and took off.  We unloaded into a protected (important because it was very windy today) mangrove inlet and explored around.

 Within minutes I spotted something I was unfamiliar with sticking out of the water. ( I have never seen a manatee in the wild)  I got excited and if I'm honest a little nervous.  "Dave, what is that I yelled."   "I don't know" he said "go check it out".  As I got closer it surfaced a bit and then I realized it was a manatee.  We became very excited and then kept our eyes peeled for more of them.  We were not disappointed, within 15 minutes  we spotted three more and these guys surfaced RIGHT NEXT to Dave's kayak.  He admitted it made him a little nervous because these guys were big ones.

  I was kicking myself for not having my camera but I didn't bring it because I was afraid of tipping over and getting it wet.  I don't know why I worry about that so much.  The kayaks are very stable I never once felt like I would tip.  I would of loved to of had some pictures of today.

 After Dave got his experience I got mine.  A large manatee surfaced right next to me.  He looked right at me for the longest time.  I didn't know what to do, I really wished I had something to feed him because I kind of think that was what he was waiting for.  He kept swimming under my Kayak and then back again.  I just kept talking to him. Looking back I probably looked kind of silly talking to him like he was a puppy. LOL

 It was about this time that  four women were kayaking our way.  I pointed the manatee out to them and the one woman paddled right over and asked if I had petted him.  I said no and admitted to her that I was afraid.  She smiled then took her shoe off stuck her foot in the water and told me not to be scared that they love attention.  Sure enough the manatee swam right over to her foot so she could scratch his back with her foot.  It was amazing.  Of course, as I sat there with my mouth agape he swam away so I missed my chance.

I hope I get to have another experience like today.  Next time I promised myself that I wouldn't be such a chicken and I would pet one.

I really need to appreciate Florida more. Yes, it is hot but being on the water is pretty great.  Except of course when there is a hurricane heading your way.  Go away Isaac, Go away!!!

1 comment:

Carin said...

Amazing!!!!!! Manatees!!!!!!!!!
I miss living by the ocean~
I keep telling myself to get outside more too!
Unfortunately---raccoons or moose are more likely to be something I will run into in nature. I wont try petting them! :)