When I spoke with the ranger on the phone the previous day I was informed that there is virtually no chance of seeing manatees on this trip (one of my trip goals was to swim with manatees!). The manatees live in the St. Johns river during the summer and only move into the springs during winter when it is colder. She said the chances of seeing one would be like seeing an eel in the ocean.
I was, of course, very disappointed but since it was raining (the spring is always 73 degrees) and the location was less than on hour away we decided to go to Blue Spring anyway.
This is one of the many springs that feeds into the St. Johns river; it discharges 165 million gallons of water a day.
From the spring we swam downstream, enjoying every minute.
Holy manatee batman!
We were just about to get out of the water, down south of where we got in, when we saw them... we got to swim with manatees! It was incredible. They are huge and beautiful.
This was an experience that we will never forget.
Later when we got out of the water we saw the many posted signs not to swim with them, but how could we possible know?!
Florida has some amazing organisms. We cannot exactly help it if they want to spend time with us.