Date: 22 October 2017. Manatee Bumps
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
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.
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.
Hurricane Irma approaching I also removed the oarlocks from Algae.
were and are a mess!
They should have a small hole at the bottom to secure to the
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
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
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.
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
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
article] was a photographer. He used to tell me to always have my
camera with me. Bob was right.
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.
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
Learn more about water hyacinths at
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.
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
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
abounds aboard Seaweed.
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!?!
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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Hurricane Irma (part 4) ~
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