Sunday, February 9, 2014

Manatee Trip 2014

Rest stop at FL boarder
 for Lunch
I had the opportunity this weekend to go with some of our fifth grade students, parents, and teachers to Crystal River, Florida to swim with manatee, snorkel down Rainbow River and see other wildlife, and visit the Homosassa Wildlife Refuge where we saw a number of animals native to the area. All of these animals have been rescued and are either permanent residents or waiting to be released back into the wild.

Overall, the trip was amazing. We had to work around Mother Nature during this trip, but the hands-on experiences in the water were very interesting and exciting. We were able to see a number of manatee in the wild at King's Bay. There were two right beside the boat when Captain Larry lowered me into the water. It was a great experience. Other manatee were so playful and friendly they were face to face with several of our crew.

Capt. Larry taking us
out to King's Bay
The trip down Rainbow River was the highlight of the trip for me.  We were taken about 3/4 of a mile up river by boat and dropped off. We snorkeled down the clear river for about 45 minutes. It was a beautiful experience. We saw a lot of different kind of fish and a number of hot springs bubbling out of the bottom of the river. The temperature in these springs is 72 degrees year round. Of course the temperature outside was in the upper 40's and lower 50's most of the trip.  Check out the brief video on YouTube.

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