Friday, January 6, 2012
For those that are family and close friends (aka my Facebook Friends), you have now seen these photos. But I'm going to post here too for the whole world to see. It won't be as many that's on there but I'll put up some.
Aren't they awesome!?!?
The boat captain said they would be bigger and more intimidating that you have your mind. It's crazy how true that was! I knew they were big. We saw a couple before we got into the water but to see one come up from below you as you snorkel on the water's surface is soooo different! They were feeding when we first got into the water and as they come up for air, they could bump into you! Crazy, right?!
Once they warm up to you, you can pet them and they will get super friendly! My mom was hugged (a lot!) by the big girl/guy in the picture and my dad was upclose and personal with one too as it chewed on his life jacket strap. I got super close too - I accidently kneed one as he came up underneath me. I felt bad but the captain said that it was normal and that they are more aware of where we are in the water than we are of them.
It was definitely a once in a life time experience and I am thankful that my parents took us! Lily stayed on the boat and we all took turns watching her (well, I never did - bad mommy - but the others did!). We were told that she wouldn't fully understand the concept and the water was cold (68-72 degrees). So she stayed on the boat and watched us as we swam with the big manatees. She did great on the boat! The only thing I would have changed was that we should have actually put her in the wet suit for a photo op but we didn't. It might have been torture, so it's probably better that we didn't.
So if you're ever in the Tampa Bay area, check out Captain Mike's Manatee Tours. It was great!