|Manatees in Boot Key Harbor|
What started out as a jaunt to breakfast turned into one of the highlights of our trip so far.
The American Legion puts on a fantastic breakfast every Sunday morning. Friends had invited us to try it out, and we were glad they did. For $7 each we received a huge ultimate omelet (cheese, sausage, ham, peppers, onions, mushrooms) home fries, toast, juice and coffee or tea. It was delicious. We went with Lynn and Brian of Midori, who we had met on the hard at Charlotte Harbor Boat Storage. The conversation was fun and the laughs flowed freely. Afterwards, we huddled around our VHF and listened to the morning net which is always informative and entertaining.
And then it happened. We saw someone looking over the edge of the dinghy dock. Sure enough there was a manatee. No....make that three manatees!!! There was Mom, Dad and Baby Manatee. They are so ugly they are cute. The baby was next to the dock rolling over on its back to get to the good stuff under the dock. It was so close we could have touched it. We showed great restraint as we know that you are not supposed to touch or feed the manatees. Seeing the scars on their backs from propellers, we know why.
Click on each of the four links for short videos.
The manatee did a great job of cleaning off the edge and underside of the dock. It was scraping off barnacles, mullosks and slime. Then it would spit out what it didn't like.
While the one manatee was next to the dock, the mother and baby floated peacefully in the middle of the channel. Sometimes the baby would rest on the mom's tail.
We watched for ten to fifteen minutes. We just couldn't break ourselves away from the show. Finally the three started heading back into the harbor, so we got back in our dinghy and carefully motored out. We had to put the motor in neutral one time because one of them turned and went right under our dinghy!
What a wonderful way to start our day! Maybe they will be there when we dinghy back in to watch the Packers.