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Old 05-09-2009, 01:24 PM
 
Location: Punta Gorda and Maryland
6,103 posts, read 14,825,377 times
Reputation: 1253

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Well it wasn't exactly a joke on me, but it is a funny story! I've been meaning to tell it here for a while.

I moved down to SWFL this past winter, and never saw a manatee until just a couple weeks ago. People have told me how friendly and docile they are, and not to pet them.

Sooooooo.
I bought some kayaks and decided to go fishing. I took my kayak to Eldred's and launched it from there. Eldred's is a nice place where you can park, launch your boat or kayak, get some bait, and maybe some other gear if you need it. It's on the way to Boca Grande, just before the toll bridge. Anyway, I launched my boat, got my fishing gear, and went kayaking across the bay. I stopped a few times and fished in some of the deeper channels. The bay is only a foot or two deep in places, but deepens a bit where the channels are.

It was a beautiful day, and I caught some snapper, and paddled across the bay. After i got there, the wind started to pick up, and was blowing accross the bay toward Eldred's so I could pretty much just drift and float. It was really nice. Anyway about half way across, I saw this face pop out of the water about 30 yards away, and it looked like a walrus! So I paddled over in the direction, and started to get my camera out so I could take a picture. I recognized it was a manatee, and thought (based on all I've heard) that they are docile, and I could go pretty close to it since (I'm not supposed to pet them) I thought I could get really close and get a great picture (to post here!). LOL, anyway I drifted closer than I wanted, but since I was getting my camera phone ready to focus, I didn't notice I was getting really close!

Well, I got too close, especially for the manatee! It became startled (me too!), and it charged forward rather than retreating, and it went underneath my kayak, and started bucking like a bronco! Needless to say, I dropped my phone (in the bottom of the kayak luckily), and didn't get a picture! ;-( I thought it would dump me over! As it came out the other side, it kicked mud, grass, water, and I'm sure manatee poop at me! I know it pooped on me! It was not pleasant at all then, or the whole way home, no matter how much I tried to clean my self up! LOL

I honestly did not intend to get more than 5-6 feet near the poor animal, but the drift and the wind pushed me closer to it. Once it decided to swim a way, it swam about 30 yards in about 2.5 seconds. Those things can move! One thing for sure, I will keep a wider distance next time, and hope to use the zoom feature for a better picture.

I have to say, I feel really bad about causing that manatee to become startled! I certainly did not intend to upset the poor animal. There is a lessoned to be learned by my mistake, if you see them give them wider clearance so that this doesn't happen to you or them. I know there are many kayakers here. I'm just a novice. I hope this story does some good.

Anyway, I thought I'd share the manatee's joke on me, only without the smell.
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Old 05-09-2009, 02:14 PM
 
Location: sittin happy in the sun :-)
3,643 posts, read 6,991,813 times
Reputation: 1865
I can see the sign now......


BEWARE BIG HOUSE IN WATER.........................................
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Old 05-09-2009, 02:16 PM
 
Location: FLORIDA!!!!
657 posts, read 1,764,145 times
Reputation: 242
thats a great story! it would have made my day to be there for that one!!
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Old 05-09-2009, 04:16 PM
 
Location: Punta Gorda and Maryland
6,103 posts, read 14,825,377 times
Reputation: 1253
Quote:
Originally Posted by hdzup3 View Post
thats a great story! it would have made my day to be there for that one!!

It was a learning experience! That's for sure! For parts of it I wish you were there instead of me.
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Old 05-09-2009, 05:10 PM
 
Location: Ohio
1,217 posts, read 2,772,435 times
Reputation: 2251
your story made me laugh out loud, very vivid. I read it aloud to my DH.
but you caught snapper! we have been trying but nothing big of any fish, just throwbacks.
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Old 05-09-2009, 05:31 PM
 
Location: Venice Florida
1,380 posts, read 5,830,258 times
Reputation: 880
Man that's the first time I've ever heard of an aggressive manatee. I've had them follow my boat, scratch their back on the bottom of my boat, but never get upset. Maybe you came up on a mother with a calf, that might explain the behavior.

As I was reading I expected that the kayak might be over turned, but never expected to read that you got pooed on by a manatee.

Great story thanks for sharing.
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Old 05-09-2009, 05:32 PM
 
10,599 posts, read 17,473,519 times
Reputation: 17340
I love the story AND the great telling. Great sentence with "(I'm not supposed to pet them)" ROFL. Now we know why.
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Old 05-09-2009, 06:07 PM
 
Location: Central Connecticut & North Port,Fl.
425 posts, read 1,087,184 times
Reputation: 145
Default Big House your a PiP

oh lord that was a funny story, read part of it the DH, he chucked at it. its sounds like something only you could do
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Old 05-09-2009, 07:49 PM
 
Location: Sarasota
190 posts, read 753,722 times
Reputation: 146
It is a funny story but even more so a once in a lifetime experience! How many people can say they got pooped on by a manatee? It would have been nice to get a picture but I think you will get one eventually, hopefully without the poo. But ya know... The way that kayak was bucking and bouncing are you absolutely sure it was manatee poo you was smellin? he he ha ha lol....had to say it.
ps.
thanks for the info....
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Old 05-09-2009, 08:10 PM
 
Location: FL
1,138 posts, read 3,216,043 times
Reputation: 792
You have just helped me to decide to go and learn to kayak. Great story!
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