I checked it out and found out the manatees like to gather near the warm water from the cooling outlet of the Tampa electric power plant, whenever the bay temperature drops below 68*. The power plant is where the Manatee Viewing Center is located.
On Tuesday I consulted Google to check the water temperatures. Although the web page listed Tampa Bay at 71*, we decided to drive over to the Center anyway.
We headed towards the chimneys puffing out steam.
We arrived just at the right time to catch a guide giving a short talk about manatees.
Then we went on to the viewing walkway. The guide had said there were a dozen or so manatees to be seen out in the water.
They were there, but all we could see was their huge bodies suspended just below the surface. Occasionally one would put his nose up for a breath, or dive down showing his fluke.
We looked over the side into a much shallower area, and could see one big shadow on the bottom. We waited and a large old beastie came up for a breath of air from time to time. It may have been sleeping.
Then we saw two other shadows coming into the shallow area. One was much smaller than the other and as we watched the pair surfaced.
Both the mother and her calf were covered with barnacles. In the presentation we had listened to, we had learned that the barnacles were quite irritating, but would die and fall off when the manatee went into fresh water.
Craig said manatees are not very exciting to watch, but I think he enjoyed the beautiful day. I am looking forward to seeing them at the springs. Maybe we will get closer.
Some people like to collect T-shirts from the places they visit.
I like socks!
What do you like to look for as a souvenir?