Swimming with Manatees in Crystal River, Florida
Sea cows. Speed bumps of the ocean. Gentle giants. Water blimps.
Whatever you call these creatures, one thing remains the same- they are my favorite animal.
For over a decade now, I have been obsessed with them. Whenever I am in Florida visiting my grandparents– I need to see them. I run the Save the Manatee 5k every year, have an obnoxious amount of manatee clothing/jewelry, a proud member of the Save the Manatee club, go out of my way to see them wherever I can, and I weep whenever I think about them.
In our vows, Maxwell stated that we would swim with manatees one day. The group of our closest family and friends laughed audibly because everyone is aware of my obsession. Maxwell followed through on his vows and we were able to swim with manatees after 4 months of marriage.
We went through River Ventures in Crystal River and they were fantastic. We couldn’t recommend them enough!
The first glimpse of a manatee even from the boat made my heart skip a beat. When we entered the water, I was internally panicking though I was quiet and composed on the outside.
(We decided it was important to get more video of the manatees than photographs, so our still images are limited.)
^ This is the face of pure joy. A bucket list item coming true at the ripe age of 25. ^
The wet suits were buoyant and we floated along with pool noodles silently as the manatees floated around us. Even mothers and babies were calm. We could hear them communicating to one another when we were underwater which made the day all the more special.
They were peaceful and did not seem to mind the people around. It had been some time since I went snorkeling and I forgot how relaxing it is. At the beginning of the day, I was worried that my emotions would be running too high to thoroughly enjoy the day, but being under the water with them was one of the most tranquil experiences I have ever had.
Even if you are not a manatee fanatic like myself, I believe anyone would love this experience. It gives you a different perspective of the world and the manatee. For once, you enter an animal’s territory in a respectful manner and get to see them in their natural habitat. I would do this over and over again.
This post is limited on words because I am mostly speechless 🙂
Please enjoy our video!