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We Kayaked with Manatees

This morning over at Curry Hammock State Park we got up early so we could rent a tandem kayak for a couple hours before we headed out (and before our West Coast office was awake).

We paddled out to the sandbar (about 1/4 mile from shore):


And around Little Crawl Key and through the mangrove tunnel:


..and then out and around Deer Key. We saw some spotted eagle rays (very cool…couldn't get a proper photo but here's the one from Wikipedia:


So then, we headed back over toward where we'd first seen the stingrays, and came upon about a dozen manatees hanging out near where we first put our kayaks in. We paddled around with them for about an hour and it was AMAZING. They'd come up for a breath every minute or two, and the water was really only about 4-5 feet deep so we could see them very well the whole time. They're so cool and gentle and we imagined them down there going "Hey! OMG! There's one of those yellow things, and it's just RIGHT there next to us! How cool!!!" because that's what we kept saying about them.

Here are some of the many photos I took with my iPhone:







This one's my favorite. Look at that sweet face! 🙂


This is a nice shot of this guys' huge paddle-like tail:



It was one of the coolest things ever. They were probably around 8-9 feet long and who knows how big around (big!!) 

Here's a little iPhone video, too:


  1. Holy crap this is amazing! I cant believe you’re not screaming in the video. I would be screaming.

  2. WOW, WOW, WOW!! I would have had a hard time containing myself and holding the camera still! Great shots! I had no idea they were so well camouflaged. And the ray is stunning!

  3. It was so amazing and yes, we couldn’t stop talking about how amazing it was WHILE it was amazing. We had an hour or so though, so time to get just the tiniest bit used to how cool it was. (Tiffani, I was screaming in some of the other videos…that’s why I posted this one.)

    Also, the ranger said it was extremely rare for so many of them to be in this close just hanging out. We got lucky, that’s for sure! -Laura

  4. I am so jealous. Words fail.

  5. Susan Croome Susan Croome

    Very, very cool. Thanks for sharing.

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