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Allen's great circle trip

Manatee's
written by Lee

Elegant Living Indoors and Out.
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Entering Crystal River after dark didn't enlighten us to the nature preserve we were entering.  

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The only inclination we had was the marker stating that it was a manatee area and that we were to proceed with caution.  After tying up at Pete's Pier we retired for the night, but not before Winston explored the dog walk

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Awaking the next morning we observed pelicans swimming by the boat and sitting on the roof of the pier.

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 Egrets were walking on shore and perched on boats.

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By seven o'clock we saw pontoon boats loading people on board to go scuba diving or snorkeling. An hour later a bus load of middle school students arrived to go swimming with the manatees. With these suttle signs we knew this area was worthy further exploration.  So off we went finding that this little laid back marina was an invigorating three mile walk to breakfast at Grandma's Restaurant.

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We later discovered that the latest count of manatees recorded 384 in the Crystal River area, the largest in the state.  Watching a mother and her calf rise next to our moored boat peaked an interest into finding out more about these Gentle Giants.

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   Manatees are gentle and slow moving mammals spending most of their time eating, resting, and in travel.   

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   The manatee are herbivores feeding on both floating and submerged plants eating between 32 an 108 pounds of food a day using their front flippers to bring food to their mouth or for steering and their large tail for forward motion.  

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  Breathing is thru nostrils on the upper surface of their snout which close tightly like valves when submerged and can stay under water for as  long as 20 minutes, but usually breath every 2 to 3 minutes.  The average life span is between 50- 60years.    

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 There are no known predators to manatees, however cold weather and fast boat travel has taken a toll on the manatee population. With new conservation methods and public awareness the Florida population has continued to increase.    

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    For the classes that are following our travels send us a picture you have drawn of manatees and any interesting facts you might have discovered and we will add some of your thoughts to this web page.

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Elegant Living Indoors and Out.

 

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