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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: