Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Cocoa Beach with Manatees!

I woke up at the crack of dawn to go kayaking.   The convention schedule was fairly packed, but we weren't allowed to sit in for most of the Saturday morning events.  I skipped the one thing I could attend to go on a 2.5 hour long kayaking trip.  I hoped to see manatees when I got out there, but I didn't expect them to be so active!  (Sorry in advance for the spots on some of the photos--some water splashed on my camera lens and I didn't realize it until much later.)
A woody near the launch point!  What a way to start the day!

The water was pretty rough early in the morning, which created all this foam. 

Fortunately, I found a calm spot in the leeward side and was able to snap this picture.

Bam!  10 minutes on the water and there's a manatee sunning him/herself!

The water is fairly shallow all along the Banana River (which isn't really a river).  You can walk the whole way across except for where the sand was dredged up to make a deeper canal and provide building materials.  It had rained a bunch just before, so the sediment is all stirred up.  It's normally much clearer.

This sea cow is an old one--look at all those barnacles!

That's my guide Ed.  He invented that paddle you see him with.  He's retired Navy and works for the Florida fish & wildlife conservation as a consultant.  He knows so much about the Florida ecosystem!

Manatee nose.  Such curious creatures.

Spinning underwater and showing off skills.

More spinning and laughing and grinning!

This one came up to the back of my kayak and then came up right beside me and put his nose next to my elbow!  Just checking me out, you know...

This is a pair.  It looked like they came up out of the water and smooched!  :-*

And then here's some pictures of me navigating the mangrove trails.  I'm so not an expert, but I need WANT a kayak of my very own.  One day... 

Kayaking the mangroves and hanging out with the manatees was a great way to spend that morning.  I'm told I missed the best  part of the convention, but I made my own adventure and made my trip to Cocoa Beach exactly perfect for me.  One can't be all business all the time, right?

What's your favorite marine life/sea creature type?  I'm always amazed by wildlife and nature.  Always!  Leave me a comment below and let me know!


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