Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Like Being in Sea World

We enjoyed a short day (2 hours) on our way to the Rockhouse Creek anchorage two days ago. Pete explored the mini-island off to the south which turned out to be a spoils area for the sand the Army Corps of Engineers dredged out of the nearby ICW. I spent a LOT of time looking for the elusive manatee.

Yesterday we motor-sailed down Indian River to the Titusville Marina since rain was forecast and it's sometimes a tad bouncy at anchor during a thunderstorm. Again we looked for manatees.

First thing I wished for on this trip (6 weeks so far!) was a dollar for every dolphin that we saw. Hardly an hour goes by on the ICW that we don't see one. There are loners, devoted pairs, and the occasional pod. None of them have had SeaWorld training, however, so they don't leap out of the water. We usually only see their backs and dorsal fins. But one scared the beegeebers out of me one day by blowing out his/her airhole inches from the side of the boat as I was immersed in my book. Captain Pete found my levitation very amusing.

Then I wished that I had a dollar for every pelican we saw. They are definitely NOT endangered any more. Their droppings on docks even less so. We even saw lots of pelican rookeries.

Mary Ann looking for manatees
But what we really kept looking for were manatees. If you believe that "Manatee Zone" signs equate to the manatee population, they must be lurking throughout Florida waters.

This morning we lucked out, just as we were getting ready to leave our slip in Titusville. Thanks to a leaky water hose on the dock near us, five of these huge gentle mammals were taking turns getting a drink. Four of them were at least 6-7 feet long, and one must have been a juvenile. They politely took turns, although one big old guy kept swatting his buddies out of the way.

All of them did indeed have boat propeller scars on their backs or sides. Ouch!
Finally found some thirsty manatees
Ouch! Those are propeller scars.

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