In the 10 years that I previously lived in Florida, I never spotted a manatee in the wild. Seems kind of strange, since I've always lived near the water, but yet it's true. Now that I'm back in Florida for Round Two, I made it one of my (many) goals to find them. Last weekend, I took a slight detour to the Manatee Viewing Center in the hopes of spotting a sea cow.
That sign pretty much shows you all that you can see of the manatees, and more than what I was able to capture with my simple point-and-shoot camera, as evidenced by the following pictures.
There should have been a flipper here.
And a snout here.
Probably another flipper here.
You get the idea.
Manatees don't leap and flip like dolphins, so the best view I could get of their whole selves was when they hovered very, very closely to the surface.
I caught a snout!
What's up with the brown squiggles across the water?, you ask. They're reflections of these unhealthy-looking things.
After just a few more attempts of trying to capture some manatee action with my camera, I gave up and just hung over the railing of the walkway, waiting for more snouts and flippers to pop out of the water. It was a nice, sunny day, and it was a time and a place where it just didn't matter whether or not I got any decent pictures. It just mattered that I was there, in the sun, on the water, watching manatees bob and float and peek out of the water. I was content (almost as content as a manatee).
Now to find some wild dolphins...