Manatee Tour

Old Sep 8th, 2006, 09:48 PM
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Manatee Tour

My 16 year old daughter and I will be in Miami next July and would love to swim with the Manatees. Can anyone recommend a good outfit to go with?

Many thanks,
Catherine
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Old Sep 9th, 2006, 04:51 AM
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As far as I know, there is no program in Miami that lets you swim with manatees. You can see them at the Seaquarium. Manatee swimming is available at Crystal River but that is about a 6 hour drive from Miami (north of Tampa and Orlando). The Miami Seaquarium and several places in the Florida Keys have dolphin swim programs.
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Old Sep 9th, 2006, 05:06 AM
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I don't know of any manatee swims in South Florida either. The manatee swims are in the rivers (with cool water) where the manatees hang out en masse in the Crystal River area.

I've seen solo manatees coming up to a dock in the keys to drink water out of a garden hose (shhh! one is not supposed to do that), but he was on his own.

In other words, to hang out with lots of manatees, you gotta go where lots of manatees hang out (Crystal River area - west coast of Florida)
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 10:26 AM
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Definitely go to the Homosassa Springs area (they have a cute little zoo there also) and swim with the Manatees. I used Byrd's Underwater a while back and loved them. They will also video the day and you can buy the tape.
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 10:31 AM
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Why do I want to think this is illegal?
 
Old Sep 11th, 2006, 10:36 AM
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Evidently swimming with manatees is illegal because of their endangered status but not enforced.

http://www.uga.edu/srel/ecoview3-6-05.htm
 
Old Sep 11th, 2006, 10:49 AM
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I'm not sure that article is accurate, Go, or there are a bunch of people breaking the law in FL! Perhaps it could be state law? I know it is not legal to either feed or touch them in FL, but I don't think there is a law about being in the water with them. Not that there shouldn't be!
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 10:56 AM
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Just found the answer to our question about legality. http://tinyurl.com/hbowj
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 06:04 PM
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You won't find any manatees in the Crystal River area in July. They usually arrive in about November, depending on when the Gulf cools down, and are gone in March-April.
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Old Sep 12th, 2006, 03:06 PM
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Starrsville referenced the 'cool waters' of crystal river where the Manatees like to gather. Actually, they love the warmer waters. That's why they are out in the Gulf during the summer when the water is warmer. Crystal River is spring fed and remaints about 72+- all year around. When the Gulf cools, that's when the Manatees return to the relatively warmer waters of Crystal River. You will also find them around power plant discharge waters when it is warmer than the gulf. Swiming with them is OK; but approaching them is not. If they come to you, that is OK.
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