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Saturday, March 05, 2011

Manateeless Snorkel

Manateeless Snorkel by Jeri L. Curley
February 26, 2011
As I had feared, the poor judgment of one person has effected all of us. The infamous U-Tube video of an unthinking *%@# who rode and harassed a manatee at Crystal River has resulted in restrictions and may eventually result in bans on all Manatee encounters. Hopefully this year's Manatee sea-son didn't result in any episodes that would heighten the alarm. We did hear of fines being levied for activities that were ignored in years past—ducking under the water to photograph a Manatee, for example. This year we had a mild winter and the manatees left the springs early in search of seagrass on which to munch. We did encounter one manatee on our way to Three Sisters Spring that was sur-rounded by 10 snorkelers. Disappointed as we were, we cruised the area in search of manatees. I was shocked to see a Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron out in the open—a mostly nocturnal heron, as it's name implies. It was a beautiful day on the water, despite the lack of Manatees. Ask those of us on the trip about our ship wreck adventure! Special thanks to our boat captains, John Dockendorf and Brian Reynolds.


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