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Crystal River Manatees

Posted by Susanna On February - 17 - 2011

Have you ever snorkeled with Manatees? Mostly it is actually forbidden. When I visited Australia I had done a cruise at Monkey Mia and seen them from above. Then of course in the aquarium in Sarasota and in Blue Springs where you can watch them from the shore. But in Crystal River you can actually go and snorkel with them. There are hundred and hundreds of manatees in that area migrating over winter time and even in summer a few stay all year around. There big but gentle. Some recently hurt manatees carry a special sensor buoy with them so the park ranger can follow their healing progress and their migration. The water is nice but still chilly and one is officially not allowed to dive down. Behind a designate area the manatees can relax and snorkelers are not allowed to enter. But the manatees don’t leave their designate protected area when to many people are around and especially when they move around like hippos barely are able to hold themselves in a horizontal position on the water. I have to admit that this is difficult since the water is fresh water and the current is kind of strong. It was amazing to see these beautiful animals but so annoying to bump all the time in others which snorkel or kayak. I still can recommend that place if you wish to have a once in a lifetime experience. Who knows how long it will be possible to be that close to these gentle giants.People already discussing to stop the contact with the animals via snorkeling since there every now and then still people who abuse the manatees and separate calves from their mothers. Believe it or not, the place with the spring where the manatee migrate had belonged to a private person which wanted to fill the river and spring up with sand to build condos! Ridiculous it is such a magical place and thanks god the town and private investors bought it to save its beauty as one of the unique places on earth.

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“Hold fast to your dreams, for without them life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.”
by Langston Hughes


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