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Date: 22 October 2017. Manatee Bumps Algae.


I have loved manatees since practically forever. They are friendly and playful. Slow swimming, manatees seem to seek out people. Because I prefer remote areas where wildlife is abundant I have had many encounters with the gentle giants. Here on the gulf coast, I am nestled in close to mangrove trees. This spot affords me an abundance of critters to watch.

Just the other day I had a close encounter
with a trio of manatees all because of Travis.

This is Travis ↓ aboard a spiffy Hatteras that is docked nearby.

Travis is a local real estate investor and 2nd Lieutenant in the US Army.

It all started because of footwear. Travis accidentally dropped one shoe overboard when stepping between the dock and a boat. He asked me to rescue his flip flop before it floated too far away.

Algae is perfect for such a task. Well, most of the time she is. It's just that of late the trolling motor has been out of commission. That is not the fault of the motor. The Perko switch quit functioning. I had not yet found one to replace it. I was looking for a bargain. Paying retail prices is the option of last resort aboard Seaweed.

In any event, the trolling motor was not wired to the battery. Making that work was on my list of chores. It had not reached the top though.

With Hurricane Irma approaching I also removed the oarlocks from Algae.

The oarlocks were and are a mess!

DAMAGED OARLOCKS. They should have a small hole at the bottom to secure to the dinghy.

Oarlocks are a relatively common nautical flea market item. I will wait and hope for a bronze or stainless pair. I would like a spiffy set. That is not a priority. What I have is Good Enough.

Because of Hurricane Irma I had taken the oarlocks out of Algae. Then Travis requested a shoe rescue mission. I could not find the oarlocks. That was frustrating. Of course I located the oarlocks right where I left them when I returned home.

It is always that way. Whenever something is lost it is invariably because I had a Good Idea that went amuck. Safe spots are generally safest from me! You might be surprised to learn that even in my small home I have misplaced items.

As the wind was blowing I wanted to be underway quickly. I left my cell phone on the bunk and grabbed a couple of paddles to chase down the flip flop.

While getting paddles in Algae, I spotted a manatee right by the transom of my dinghy.

You can see the ring in the water behind the trolling motor handle. That's a manatee.

As I was paddling east up the canal I spotted three more manatees by a boat. I steered away. I did not want to disturb them. Thus I was careful to paddle "softly" and not make a lot of bubbles.

I had taken a picture earlier in the afternoon of the trio off my bow.

When I retrieved the shoe, the three swam out to my dinghy. They were very near me. I splashed my fingers in the water and one rolled over, showing me her tummy!!! That was amazing. Totally 100% cool.

And the doggone phone was on my bunk. Thus, no picture. The shot of a lifetime was missed. Argh! My friend Bob Winter [see the
Time Stopped article] was a photographer. He used to tell me to always have my camera with me. Bob was right.

In the meantime the breeze was blowing me further from home. I started to carefully paddle back towards Seaweed. The three matched me, swimming alongside Algae. One even BUMPED MY BUTT! Okay, she nudged the bottom of my dinghy.

I believe she wanted me to go faster. I did so, carefully as I did not want to touch the manatee with my paddle.

A picture of the trio taken earlier in the afternoon:

Manatees are easy to miss. Look for a grey rock in the water with ripples around it. That's a manatee.

When I was a little girl they would swim up to you. They would hang around for a bit then go off eating water hyacinths. I wrote a bit about that experience in the On the St. John's River article.

These are water hyacinths:

Learn more about water hyacinths at http://plants.ifas.ufl.edu/node/141

Watching manatees is relaxing. They eat and play. Sometimes they splash and make bubbles too.

One of the things I love about this life is seeing the critters around me. I can imagine the earth as it was before modern man "improved" things. As much as I enjoy my Kindle, tablet and netbook, the world outside my windows holds my attention far more than electronics.

When I disappear you can count on one thing for certain: I am pondering. It is important that I understand the whys and wherefores of my life. In the Hurricane Irma Saga (parts 1-4)  rant, my reaction to being barred from home was out of proportion. Figuring out why was important to me.

The Why: I remember older ladies and gentlemen in nursing homes. All they wanted to do was go home. Then the government enforcers forbid me from returning to my home. I saw an ugly future. It is one I will do all I can to avoid. And that is why my response was such a visceral one. Fear, pure and simple...

Thankfully the following week manatees restored my sense of balance. The world is indeed a good one.

Manatees swimming by the bow of Seaweed are lovely. Later the manatees played with Algae. Both were just what I needed. Happiness once again abounds aboard Seaweed.

In the meantime I'm finishing up one more dentist visit scheduled for early November. And too, my birthday (it's one of those Zero's) is rapidly approaching. Eek! Where did the years go!?!

I am blessed to lead this life. It truly is wonderful. I wish everyone could find joy afloat...

Have you ever had a manatee encounter? What happened?
And, I'd like to hear what you do to keep happy when life gives you a thump on the heart.

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2017, 2018, 2023

Categories: Characters, Wild Things,

Hurricane Irma (part 4) ~ Previous Post ...    ... Next Post ~ Handy Heater Review


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