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SWIM WITH THE MANATEES - DECEMBER 17, 2006 - CRYSTAL RIVER, FL

On Saturday December 17th, ten eager divers embarked on an adventure that could not be described as anything less than AWESOME! Crystal Lodge Dive Center, in Crystal River, Florida hosted several Castaway Scuba divers for this event. By 8:00 AM we had gathered in the dive shop and watched the required video on the interaction with the manatees produced by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation. Afterwards, we stowed our wetsuits and snorkel gear on the pontoon boat and waited for the quick briefing on the day’s planned activities. The weather was unusually warm for this time of year so we did not expect to see a large number of manatees in the springs.

Our adventure began and we headed out to Three Sister Spring. After anchoring the dive boat we donned our wetsuits and snorkel gear and headed in towards the spring. As we arrived we could several cows and calves, but they were in a protected area of the springs where swimmers were off limits. After an hour of playing around in the springs we headed back to the boat. While drying off and warming up we headed towards King Spring.

We anchored the boat and enjoyed drinking some hot chocolate and casual conversation. When all of a sudden, we felt the boat being tugged. We looked down into the water to see a calve playing tug-of-war with our anchor rope. In record time everyone on the boat were in the water to enjoy the company of the mother and young calve. Both the calve and mother interacted with everyone for about fifteen minutes before gracefully swimming off. We all headed towards King Spring to see if we could find more manatees to interact with.

After an hour and half we boarded the boat and headed back to the dive center. Another great adventure we all enjoyed.

Swim with the Manatees, Crystal River, FL

Getting Ready to Head Out
Swim with the Manatees, Crystal River, FL - December 17, 2006
Swim with the Manatees, Crystal River, FL - December 17, 2006
Swim with the Manatees, Crystal River, FL - December 17, 2006
Swim with the Manatees, Crystal River, FL - December 17, 2006
Swim with the Manatees, Crystal River, FL - December 17, 2006

Swimming with the Manatees
Swim with the Manatees, Crystal River, FL - December 17, 2006
Swim with the Manatees, Crystal River, FL - December 17, 2006
Swim with the Manatees, Crystal River, FL - December 17, 2006
Swim with the Manatees, Crystal River, FL - December 17, 2006
Swim with the Manatees, Crystal River, FL - December 17, 2006
Swim with the Manatees, Crystal River, FL - December 17, 2006
Swim with the Manatees, Crystal River, FL - December 17, 2006
Swim with the Manatees, Crystal River, FL - December 17, 2006
Swim with the Manatees, Crystal River, FL - December 17, 2006
Swim with the Manatees, Crystal River, FL - December 17, 2006
Swim with the Manatees, Crystal River, FL - December 17, 2006
Swim with the Manatees, Crystal River, FL - December 17, 2006
Swim with the Manatees, Crystal River, FL - December 17, 2006
Swim with the Manatees, Crystal River, FL - December 17, 2006
Swim with the Manatees, Crystal River, FL - December 17, 2006


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