Manatee Watching

Erika and I went to the Orange City Blue Spring Manatee Festival. Staring out, I didn’t have high hopes for it, but we wanted to do something different this weekend. As a side note, when I see “farmers’ market”, I think produce being raised and sold in lots of booths in an open air market, not one booth of produce and 50+ booths of arts & crafts — so with that in mind, I didn’t expect a “festival” of the same caliber of ones in Ohio.

And I was right. Maybe 40+ booths of arts & crafts, a few food vendors, some carny style games for the kids. And a long line to the shuttle… and really didn’t know what the shuttle was for. Come to find out, the shuttle took you into the Blue Spring park, to a location great for seeing manatees! This was the hi-light of the event & well worth the $8 of admission… and it goes to a good cause, the park. 🙂

Standing in line, one of the marine life (manatee) experts talked about what to expect & the “curiosity” of manatees. What I didn’t expect to see was so many! Gracefully swimming up and down the waters from the springs into the river. From what we overheard, there were 100+ spotted in the area, earlier that day… I thought that was an exaggeration, but I lost count after about 40. The manatees were curious… Erika and I were standing out on the of the piers, just by ourselves, everyone else had moved on. We stood there quietly for a few minutes, when momma and her two babies came swimming right for us… Then people started screaming with excitement. Momma turned tail and swam away from us… the marine life expert said, the best way to attract them was to be really calm & quiet.

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