Saturday, July 23, 2011

Manatee Surprise!

It was a beautiful sunny winters day in south Florida. I had joined a friend and his family for a SUP excursion to Peanut Island. There was a little chill in the air so I donned my favorite pink rash guard. Little did I know what excitement would fill the day. The wind was blowing against us so we faced resistance, but I figured hey...I needed it to help build the muscles in my core. Stand up paddle boarding is great exercise. For me though all I could think about was the fun I was having playing outside in the water, taking in the fresh sea air and being with friends. All of a sudden I could see, not just one but three large shadows coming directly for me. They were larger than my paddle board and coming directly for me! Should I turn around and paddle as fast as I could for my life......No, I was not going to take my eyes off these creatures. Moments of fear turned to joy as I realized these were not just creatures...they were gentle giants...Manatees! and large ones at that! They were just as curious as I was. They glanced upward and calmly swam right by me. The water was crystal clear and shallow so I was able to fully view them. It was sad to see that one of them had what looked to be boat propeller dings. They were certainly friendly enough! If I would have been in a kayak I would have missed seeing them. The vantage point from a stand up paddle board is awesome! Come join me sometime and you might be blessed enough to paddle over a herd of these "Sea Cows", another name for Manatees. –Cindi

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