Since the only reason Bree and I are here is due to United Airline’s lack of ability to load all of their passengers on the correct airplane, we had to arrive in Florida two days before our cruise departs. That said, we had to kill a little time.
To do so we spent the night in Crystal River, Florida. It is a small town about 90 minutes north of Tampa. This place is known for its nearly 80 springs which provide a consistent 72 degree water year round. In the winter, hundreds of manatee flock there due to the warm temperatures. And, as always, Bree and I had to kayak somewhere. So why not with the manatee?
I’ve been on a quest ever since California to find an orange growing on an actual tree. We failed in California. We failed in Hawaii. But Florida? Oh they are abundant. We saw dozens of orange, lemon, and grapefruit trees lining the canal. Too bad nobody was out or we would have paid them to pick one.
The entrance to Three Sister’s Springs. This was probably the most beautiful piece of nature that I have ever seen (is there a better way to say that?). It was really low tide so it was very hard to navigate the kayak up the channel due to the current and large rocks, but we finally made it. The water is was amazingly clear.
A lot of the manatee hung out in the protected area (upper left), and would come in and out to hang out with the people. They were remarkably friendly. Definitely not afraid of people. Bree even petted one (and I did too). I was surprised at how big a lot of them were. All of the pictures that turned out were of small ones, but some of them had to be eight or nine feet long. I swear half of the sea cow filled up our camera lens.
We also kayaked out into King’s Bay. It was really low tide, so there were a large number of boats stranded on the bay’s various shores.
The last picture is a boat docked next to an island bird refuge. They have subsequently taken residence on the boat. Not any of the other boats – just this one.