Manatees in Crystal Springs, Florida

Manatee, Trichechus manatus

After leaving Orlando at 5 in the morning, we headed out to look for manatees in Crystal Springs. Tired but hopeful - would we see any? The people at Sunshine River Tours told us we would.

Posted on Dec 16, 2008

Anticipation was running high as we stopped at the first spot of the day, just 15 minutes from the dock in Crystal Springs. We got in the water, and immediately I found myself surrounded by manatees!

There were 10-12 animals, some of them sleeping on the bottom, others coming right up to us - they are very curious and inquisitive.

We encountered several manatees on all of the 4-5 stops we made during the day. We stayed out in a small boat looking like a floating caravan for about six hours, and must have seen 50-60 manatees in total.

Although strange-looking, the boat was very comfortable and had all the facilities need to stay out for a full day:

During the day we saw several cute calfs, one manatee with a radio tag attached to it and many animals sleeping, eating playing ond enjoying themselves.

The manatees are incredibly sociable animals, and they love being scratched on their bellies.

They will come right up to you as soon as you get in the water, keel over and demand you help relieve the itch of barnacles and other stuff that tends to grow on their skin. These are not fast-moving animals, that's for sure.

» Click here to read more about manatees

If you want to snorkle with manatees, I can recommend getting in touch with Sunshine River Tours. They are knowledgeable and very nice peoeple, and will give you a great experience and value for your money.

» Click here to get in touch with Sunshine River Tours

Here's a video of me interacting with a manatee, shot by Thomas Torjusen and a couple more images from the trip:

The ScubaPixel database contains 25+ images of manatees from Crystal Springs, and I have also written a 1.200 word story about this great experience. Please get in touch if you're interested in running this in your magazine.

» Click here to browse the manatee images

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