What is a Crowd?
If two’s company and three’s a crowd what is a group of five? That’s what we were drifting along with the Manatee. It wasn’t long before two more boats joined us and these were not little tours. I was having trouble keeping track of my group. So were my fellow snorkelers so we left our manatee friend and headed back to our boat.
Our next stop was at Jurassic Springs. It was just a bulge in the side of the river. There was a pipe marking the boundary. We weren’t sure if a manatee was in there or not. It was worth taking a short swim to find out. It was much deeper here. The spring was a large crack in the river floor. If you swam down toward the crack the water temperature dropped quickly. Exploration over, there weren’t any manatees. We headed back to the boat.
Sting Ray! Sting Ray!
Slipping back under the pipe we were surprised by a sea going creature we never expected to see. It was a stingray. I don’t know if it got in the river because of the hurricane or if it just wanted a little warm water. The creature didn’t pay us any attention but I couldn’t help thinking of Steve Irwin, Crocodile Hunter. Steve met his death at the end of a sting ray tail.
The Canal held another Surprise
Our hour and a half was nearing the end. I have to say this was an A++ tour so far. On our way back we detoured down a side canal. We saw collapsed sea walls caused when the water was drained by the hurricane. We had almost reached the end of the canal when Austin thought he saw a manatee. He left us on the boat while he went in to check. What he found turned this into a 5 star experience. There was a mama manatee and a tiny baby. I use the term tiny loosely. The baby was estimated to be about 50 lbs and looked like a fire plug. He was nibbling on the ropes that dangled from the dock . We had a great time with the baby until the crowd found us. With the arrival of the other tour boats, we made our exit.