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water temps & manatees

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Keystone Heights, Fl
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water temps & manatees

just wondering about the water temps in the winter. how cold does the water get to be able to get in the water with the manatees or do you have to wear a dive suit? whatis this about hot springs in kings bay? do you HAVE to go through a company to swim with the manatees? i saw there is a protective period? whats that about? has a manatee ever attacked anyone like over a calf or for any reason? can you touch them?

Philadelphia...
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1. Re: water temps & manatees

I see this is an old posting, but you may still be interested in swimming with the manatees this winter so I thought I'd respond.

The water temps remain around 70 degrees year around, thus, the reason they congregate here in large numbers during the winter months when the ocean is cold. During the summer months, you'll find some still hanging around.

Yes, you'll have to take a tour and you'll have to wear a wet suit (what's called a "halfie" because it's like wearing a one piece shorts and tee shirt suit rather than long sleeved and long pants (full). Not only do they keep you warm, but they also help keep you afloat. Therefore, you can more easily float rather than splashing around.

The springs keep the water at a constant temp throughout the seasons.

Yes, there are protective areas for the manatees to be left undisturbed by swimmers and such. They're roped off areas in which people have to stay out of. The winter months are considered the protective period. There are more areas closed off for access, but there are also more manatees so you're sure to see them regardless.

Manatees are very gentle. I've never heard of any attacking a person. They're fast swimmers so if they don't want to be around people, they just swim away from them. Some mama manatees welcome having their youngers interact with humans. Some "stay on guard" to make sure their baby stays safe by watching from afar while the baby interacts with the humans. Others will keep them close by their side and interact together. It depends on the age of the baby. The older is it, the more space she's willing to give.

2. Re: water temps & manatees

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Seattle, Washington
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3. Re: water temps & manatees

Just got back from Crystal River, (Oct 4-11). Saw 2 Manatees in Hunters Spring 10/7, and one in the channel just outside the entrance to 3 Sisters 10/10. No Manatees in 3 Sisters proper. No other sightings all week.

Water is still warmish outside the Springs. Many people swimming with no wetsuits in the 3 Sisters proper.

I did not price out a manatee tour vs renting a small boat and doing the manatee dive yourself.

I guess you pay the tour operator for their knowledge of where the manatees are.

BTW, if you like hiking, kayaking, birding, flora, fauna, Crystal River is a must. The Homosassa State Park and the Ellie Schiller wildlife park is worth the entrance fee with the resident manatees, zoo and boat ride.

Tampa, Florida
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4. Re: water temps & manatees

NO, you cannot touch them!! It is blatantly illegal and wildlife officers will prosecute.

myfwc.com/education/…

http://www.savethemanatee.org/Tips.htm

Albufeira, Portugal
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5. Re: water temps & manatees

Just did the River Ventures Tour, It was BRILLIANT. The water was not cold, we all wore wetsuits and snorkels, the manatee came up to our group and the manatee touched some people with their noses. It was a once in a lifetime experience and there was a cd to buy with all photos taken by the Captain. Of course the tour is best, you get the education before and told how to behave around these animals.

North Fort Myers...
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6. Re: water temps & manatees

I'll second polycoder's recommendation of Homosassa State Park. The boat ride from the highway to the wildlife park and back is free, but it's definitely worth the admission to see the manatees being fed from the overwater/underwater observatory in the wildlife park. You can't swim with them, but they're there year round, the visibility is great, and the number of large fish coming up from the depths of the spring is amazing. The wildlife park also has exhibits of every type of Florida wildlife, as well as a happy old hippo that they couldn't find another home for when the state took over the park a few years back.

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7. Re: water temps & manatees

Ok I am thinking to go to Crystal River but some of you said that you CAN´T touch the manatees or even that we CAN'T swim with them and I have found different information about this. I am pretty sure that in Crystal River there are companies that allow you to swim near them and always with the maximum of respect.

And also I have found some Florida guides that say: "Due their nature they will be curious and is common if they swim near you, so be patient and please don’t chase them. If they come close to you, it is fine to hold out your hand and gently touch them. "... I have found this info here xperiencefloridamarine.com/wp-magazine/… And I'm pretty sure this is a reliable and well-known website.

North Fort Myers...
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8. Re: water temps & manatees

That's just a commercial website talking-up the places that pay for advertisements on their site. Look at the .gov websites to see what the government allows you to do. You can be arrested for anything that could be interpreted as harassment of manatees, and the LEO can interpret that as anything that disturbs their normal behavior. For example, manatees in salt water love to drink from a freshwater hose and will beg for it. But, that's illegal since it disturbs their normal behavior. It doesn't matter if the manatee like it, the goal is to allow them to continue to exist in their natural state. I'm not a tree hugger, but that's the rationale. Having seen manatee close up in the wild, I don't want to touch them.

Tampa, Florida
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9. Re: water temps & manatees

My first link is from the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission, which is only the official website from the State of Florida and quotes, you know, the actual laws and stuff.

The second link is from the Save the Manatee Foundation, which has been instrumental in helping to rebuild wild manatee populations.

Do you want to listen to profit-driven tour operators, or the actual law and the people whose very existence is on protecting manatees?

10. Re: water temps & manatees

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Removed on: 23 October 2015, 06:16