Homosassa Springs Halls River Manatee Paddle
December 4th 2010
Waking up to 28 degree temperatures in Central Florida does not happen often….but it sure was happening this weekend! Josh loaded the frost covered kayaks before dawn as I mentally checked and double checked that I told everyone what to bring to stay dry and warm. As Josh from Good Time Kayaking and I drove further north the sun began coming up and the frost slowly started to fade away.
When we arrive to Nature’s Resort Campground, where we were to launch from, the river was covered in a mysterious fog. It was so beautiful and cold….
Unloading the kayaks and setting up for our group helped warm us up and soon the misty morning was being burned away by the bright shining sun. We covered how to behave safely around the manatees, (which we were sure to see with all these cold temperatures!) and handed out some wonderful information filled items donated by Save the Manatee.org.
Everyone soon climbed into their waterproof clothing and into the kayaks!
After about a 15 minute paddle we arrived to the springs where the manatees gather for protection from the cold and we were pleased to hear there were over 50 there!
These gentle giants often peeked up at us, some as large as a small car. One playfully enjoyed nudging Debbie’s kayak around, playing with her. Others rolled and swam around us giving us wonderful views! There were many young and other mating pairs. So many of the manatees had scars from boat propellers on their backs, even the young ones.
Others backs were covered with crustaceans proving they had spent a substantial amount of time in the salt water. These amazing and completely harmless creatures were a joy to be around but it was time to head back to the marina for lunch, and then for a paddle up the Halls River. There were many other animals that stay in the warm spring fed waters. We spotted many turtles and birds on our way back!
After a picnic lunch on shore we paddled up the Halls River looking out for other critters that were out getting some warmth from the sun. There were not many critters out, but we had a very relaxing paddle and soon we were paddling against with wind (as it always seems to happen when we go there) to get back to the marina.
It was a fantastic day spent with wonderful people and God’s most precious creatures. It is a day that will remain one of my best lived!
For more photos from our event visit: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=338056&id=123289366981
To book this trip – or find out more about us visit: Http://www.notaclueadventures.com