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I had a chance to do one of those once in a lifetime things. Those things that you think, ‘that would be really cool to do’, but you never really think you will get a chance to do. I did it. I went snorkeling with manatees. And yes, it was totally as cool as I thought it would be.
They are these massive gentle creatures that just want to eat their food and hang out. And they totally don’t mind you hanging out with them, as long as you don’t act like a jerk. You have to watch a safety video first, telling people to not chase them, not poke them, not hurt them. You know, those things that should totally be common sense, but since the world we live in doesn’t seem to be very sensible, they have to spell these things out. Basically, don’t be an asshole. You are in their home, so act like it.
This video shows a momma with her calf just munching away on some sea grass. They were in this cove, surrounded by homes. How cool would it be to have a house with manatees in your back yard??? The baby was very inquisitive and after I stopped filming, she shoved her nose right up in my face. They are smooth and sort of slimy because they all have algae growing on them. One of the males even had a barnacle growing on his back. They are vegetarians, so you don’t have to worry about them chowing down on you. But if you make one mad, they can defend themselves with those massive tails. One flick and they can move up to 25 mph.
If you ever have a chance to do this, I highly recommend it. Peak season is in the cooler months, but you can usually see them almost year round. We went with Fun2Dive and I highly recommend them. They were very professional and have not only your safety in mind, but the safety and well being of the manatees also. They provided all the equipment so you don’t have to own a snorkel set or wetsuit. You are welcome to bring your own if you prefer.