More Manatees

On a rare day with no rain, we had the opportunity to go scalloping and boating with some friends at St. Marks, Florida.  We had never scalloped before, and I did not understand the allure of catching your own scallops…until I became addicted to hunting for these yummy little creatures.  They have great camouflage, with their top side appearing the same color as the grasses they live in.  The scoot around the bottom and are really funny to watch when you pick them up; they shoot water out and you can see their little blue eyes. I had one in each hand at one point, and was laughing through my snorkel as they squirted water and tried to escape.  We found about a dozen (nothing for most scallopers), but it was really fun.  I could have snorkeled around all day hunting those little guys.  We did get to make a meal of them, and they were delicious.

St. Marks Lighthouse

After the scalloping and lounging on a nearby sandbar, we headed into the Wakulla River to look for manatee and enjoy the calm, cool water in the river.  Since I had a camera in hand, and we were hoping to see a manatee, I figured it would be not our lucky day.

After just a few minutes, I spotted a mother and her calf floating near the river bank.  We got a good view of them as them swam towards us, munching on weeds, getting a breath of air and generally being about as cute as a manatee can be.  It was tempting to jump in with them, but it is illegal to approach a manatee in the wild, so we admired them from the boat.  As they swam away, I marveled at seeing a manatee calf two weekends in a row (one at SeaWorld and the other on the river), and wondering if and when I will see another.

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