Manatees are my new favorite! We had a blast yesterday! We arrived to the boat at (yawn) 6:30 a.m. After getting wet suits, underwater cameras and safety instructions, we were on our way. We went to Hunter's Spring first (yes, the polluted water area that I had talked about in my previous post), which BTW I asked the Captain about, but she did not want to talk about it and quickly changed the subject. Any way, we jumped in and started snorkeling around and right away dad and I saw a ginormous manatee! It was just chilling on the bottom of the spring. We both reached out and pet him. Then he left. Sean saw 2 manatees at this spot and pet the second one. The next spot we moved to, there was 1 manatee, but by the time we got in the water, he was gone. Well, Sean and this other guy got to swim with him for a quick second. The third spot we went to was indescribable! There was a very friendly one there who loved the attention. One of the guys had an awesome experience with him. He got 4 manatee kisses and the manatee would roll over and let him scratch his belly. We did not get in the water this time b/c we had already changed back into normal clothes, but it didn't really matter. The manatee would come up to the rope that had the anchor attached to it and floss his teeth. I could reach out and pet him from the boat! It was awesome!
We went to lunch after our manatee excusion. Then we went to the Homosassa Springs National Refuge. It is like a big zoo with animals indiginous to FLA. We saw alligators, snakes (gulp), birds, hippo, sea otters, manatees, turtles, foxes, black bear, FL panther, deers and other stuff that I am probably forgetting.
We went to a bar on the river and had a drink and then to a BBQ place for some dinner. Back here after that to play some Uno.
We are leaving today. What a fabulous Labor Day!