You gotta love this. We went swimming with the manatees! I'm so happy that Fred was well enough and that we made the effort to get all the way from the east side of the state to the west side of the state, a 6 hour round trip commute. It was so worth it. There was another couple about our age on the tour too and the woman was fearless. She swam around really far from the boat and I'd follow her because the bottom was murky in spots and suddenly a piece of the bottom would rise and meet you and it was a manatee face to face with you and frankly it would scare the crap out of me because you didn't see them until you were ready to collide with them if it was really murky.

I'm really proud of Fred too. This was so far out of his comfort zone it isn't funny. But there he was with a wet suit on and a snorkel and a mask looking at the manatees even if he was hyperventilating through the snorkel and clinging to the boat's ladder ... he was there and he did it. A mother and calf went right by him so he got his experience before it got to be too much for him and he got back on board and directed us to manatees that he could see better from his height on the boat and patted the nosy ones that came right up to the boat. But he kept an open mind and tried it and that's all anyone can ask. It wasn't the manatees, it was the water. I knew it was shallow water and he would have walked all around patting manatees if the water had been 5 feet deep. Unfortunately it was 7 to 8 feet deep and he is 6 feet tall. Oh well.

But me? I LOVED it, but I eventually opted to stay above the clearer bottoms and therfore clearer water and finally got some great shots with the underwater camera because it was clearer. Here's two of them. I wish I could post them all but resizing and uploading drives me crazy. If you ever get a chance to do this .. DO IT!

My favorite shot

A face any mother could love

PS. Citrus County is the only place to legally swim with Manatees in the United States, so you gotta go to Florida to do this.

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