Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Manatee Viewing

Friday was Grandma's 89th birthday. We were excited to have her son and daughter-in-law visiting for the weekend. I had heard about a manatee viewing center near us and thought it sounded interesting. It was free, not too far away, and something none of us had done before. It was a beautiful day to be out by the water!

Our first sighting of a manatee. We just looked for the dark blobs in the water and waited for one to pop its head up for a second.

Chris pointing out the manatees to Grandma.

Standing up to get a better look.

Marilyn, Grandma, and Dave

Grandma and her son

We also saw a few little sharks!

Chris showing Grandma the shark.

It was so exciting when one would decide to stick its nose or tail up for a second.

Manatees are kind of ugly creatures, but still interesting to watch. One came close enough to see some of the scars on its back. Because manatees are such calm animals, they often get hit by boat propellers. The researchers use the scar patterns to identify the manatees.

A pretty flower and butterfly

One manatee had a tracking device attached. Another manatee sanctuary attached the tracking device a couple weeks ago and has been in contact with this sanctuary since the manatee made its way to Apollo Beach. Researchers can tell by its scar pattern that it is a manatee first sighted in the late 1970s.

These two guys were called in to rescue a manatee caught up in a buoy. They were trying to get close enough to put a marker on it, then they would go out later with a bigger boat to catch it in a net and remove the buoy. The manatee was not interested in letting them get close!

This is about as close to a shark as I would like to be!

Little crabs

One last shot of one sticking its nose out of the water to catch a breath.


His Mercy Endureth Forever said...

I'm so glad you all had the chance to do this. I'm definitely going to have to remember this for the kids. I went when I was little and haven't been back since. Great photos too!

Dani said...

That's a neat idea.