Saturday, December 18, 2010

Kayaking at Manatee Park

Off to Manatee Park in northern Fort Myers today, about a 45-50 min. drive north of Naples. Eldy isn't really sure whether he likes kayaking or just sort of depends on where and what kind of conditions, so he decided to head out to the Miramar Outlet Center a few exits away while I kayaked for 2 1/2 hours on the Orange River. Kayak rental is $15.00 an hour for a single, not bad. You paddle out a small cove out into the Orange River and turn right heading right by the Florida Power and Electric plant discharge canal.  The manatees LOVE to swarm there early in the day until the water warms up further out in the channel and the gulf. I went at noon and there were what seemed to be over 50 manatees hanging out right by the plant. I saw a  mother and her calf, and a big guy swam right under my boat close enough to lift it just a little like going over a big  log. WHOA! There were so many of them it made me nervous that one might come up and flip me over! But no sharks to worry about here, and other than that big lug coming under me one time, the rest of the time I watched carefully as nostrils after nostrils came snorting up for air. Cool! There were LOTS of them....
Comin' atcha!
gentle duo

What's even cooler, is, that I picked a great time to go out kayaking, right around noon. Apparently, the water wasn't warm enough in the channel for the manatees to head out for the sea beds so they were hanging out by the warm discharge water. The water has to be warmer than 68 degrees for them to digest their food. Two hours later, when I came back through, they were gone except for a couple!  So the best time to see manatees in Manatee Park is early in the morning rather than later in the day...I'm so glad I got to see them again! While I was out paddling the river, I didn't see any alligators, that's ok..we've seen LOTS of them other places. I didn't see very many birds either, but as I came around a bend in the river going the opposite way from where all the manatees were, I saw longhorn cattle (!) grazing in somebody's front yard. It appeared to be quite a nice house and there were six or seven startled cattle staring at me as I came around the bend. I tried to get an initial photo of them, but they were just as startled seeing me as I was seeing them so they boogeyed out of there. I hate to say it, but I think my presence caused a mini stampede. I got their rear ends as they left the yard. I didn't see any fences at all to hem them in, but there must have been some around the property on the other side of the house. When they got to the other side of the yard, they stopped and looked back as if to say, "WHEW! That was a close one!" That's something you just don't expect to see, cattle in somebody's nice green grass front yard on the river! We are going to go see the Thomas Edison complex tomorrow in Fort Myers 'cuz it's going to RAIN.....see you then!


  1. Sounds like you are having all kinds of kodak moments down there. Good for you. I love the long horned cattle. They are usually colored different colors than other cows.

  2. hi the pictures are amazing. had our christmas yesterday and missed you guys alot.ryan is home for aweek and then off to dubai.done with his intership at the white houuse and brought home some amazing things.miss you