Monday, December 26, 2016

Manatees - Big Bend Power Station, Apollo Beach, Florida

Manatees roam the waters around of southeast Florida from April through October, but when things get a bit chilly, they head inland to warmer waters. Manatees are related to the elephant, with grayish thick, leathery wrinkled skin. They are slow swimmers and very curious. They are Florida's gentle giant, also known as the "sea cow" and can be spotted in the largest numbers during the winter and early spring. When water temperatures dip below 68 degrees, manatees head to warmer waters in Florida's 72 degree springs.  They can be found at Blue Spring State Park and Crystal River in King's Bay and Three Sisters Springs. 

While we were visiting with Jacklyn & Joe over Christmas, Joe took us by boat to the TECO Manatee Viewing Center at the Big Bend Power Station in Apollo Beach.  The warm water discharge attracts the manatees.  Manatees feed on marine and freshwater plants, and surface every five minutes or so for fresh air. We had a good time watching the manatees rub themselves on the anchor line and checking out the motor and propellers. We had lots of fun watching them.

In order to get the engine started, we had to shoo the manatees away with the automatic anchor which made enough noise and splashes to get them away from the propellers.

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