HomeGeneralManatees! Pod of 4 Swims Thru

I was beginning to wonder if any other big creatures, besides the turtles, would reveal themselves in the Lime Tree bay.  As I sat working at the table in the Tree House, our condo, my eyes were suddenly drawn to the water. Through the window, to my amazement, large boiling swells appeared about 100 yards off shore.  Before I knew it, I covered 30 yards of sharp gravel in bare feet and was waist deep in water trying to make out what was causing such aquatic turmoil.  As I ran, I was shouting “Big animal!” and people came running to the edge of the land, straining to see the large shadows moving through the bay.

As soon as a grayish glob of flesh breached the surface, I recognized the odd manatee snout.  I spun and plowed through the water to land, grabbed the camera and raced over more gravel to grab the McFadden’s kayak paddle and life vest.  Then I attempted to “sprint” another 50 yards over more gravel to the kayak.  (It is better described as the “50-yard middle-aged ouchy gravel dance”.)

Just before I reached the kayak, I heard a splash and glanced over to see the crowd on the pier watch Rob Andrews dive into the water and free-style to catch up with the creature.  I checked the water depth and made sure he was okay as I paddled past him.  I suddenly saw, it wasn’t one manatee, but four!  They slowed and Rob was able to stand in the chest-deep water as the pod made a circle around him before moving down the shoreline.  Wow.