What are manatees anyway, you ask. Adorable, with a stubby nose, manatees are peaceful marine mammals that graze mainly on water plants. They often swim upstream to warm Florida spring waters during the winter. We have only seen them in Florida. But supposedly they are also found in the Caribbean and parts of South America. Some eighty plus manatees were sighted on the day of our visit.
It was a beautiful sunny day at the beginning of Feb and we strolled along the boarwalk that hugged the bank of the spring. Several overlooks jutted out to provide a closer top down view of the crystal clear waters. We spotted a few mothers with their calf. Without a underwater camera, we were only able to capture the top down view. The flat paddle shaped tail is quite visible but not as clear is their egg shaped head and flippers.
We were amazed at the clarity of the spring water; which is at a constant 73 degrees. We also saw schools of bass, mullet and tilapia. There were quite a few kayakers, campers and hikers in the park. We did some people watching with the manatees. Then a picnic in the park wrapped up our little visit with these gentle sea cows. Our adventure continues as we explore more of our new home in Florida.