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Friday, February 26, 2010

Manatees and more manatees

It's odd sometimes how something wonderful is the result of something frustrating. Case in point: our adventure earlier today.

You see, the county libraries here all have free internet usage plus access to a printer (just 10 cents/page), handy for printing Michaels coupons when you're on vacation. But today was an exercise in frustration. First, I tried the local library. No luck, a 15 minute wait for a terminal. So the captain headed off to another branch, on our way to lunch. Once again no luck, a 10 minute wait. I was very hungry (and frustrated) at this point so we just headed off to a favourite local joint, Sun on the Beach (I had chocolate-orange crepes and yes, they were yummy). Sun on the Beach is in Satellite Beach, where the captain grew up. "Let's try the local library, since we're here," he said. So we did, having to head a few blocks off our planned route to Bed Bath & Beyond in Melbourne. Success!

Coupons in hand, the captain turned left from the library, instead of turning right and heading back to the main road. As we drove by a gully, we saw several people staring into the water. We looked into the water too, gasped, and turned the car around. Manatees. Manatees, as far as the eye could see. Dozens of 'em. I've seen them before, but never, ever like this. We were meant to drive down that road.

I lost count at 53 and know I missed several. It was amazing. The water is shallow and therefore very warm, so they've been congregating there due to the chilly weather. (Chilly for the locals, that is; the captain and I have no complaints about blue skies, bright sunshine and temperatures in the low to mid-60s Fahrenheit.)

Not only was it awesome to see these incredible creatures in such great numbers but also to see them at such close range. You also see the gashes and wounds they've received due to being cut by boat propellers. They're slow swimmers and some boats just whiz by too fast and they can't get out of the way in time.

We stayed by that gully for more than 20 minutes and I took more than 100 photos. I'm so thankful the first two library branches were busy and we ended up in the Satellite Beach branch. Sometimes, things just fall into place when you least expect it.


Irene said...

How lucky.

Leslie Jane Moran said...

Aren't they the strangest creatures? What a find. Did you ever find out why they were all congregating there? Hope the weather stays nice for the duration of your visit.

Autumn Summerfield said...

Isn't Life great?

Bea said...

Wow, how lucky for the detour in your travels. How wonderful to see so many of these gentle creatures.

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