Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Mano-a-mano-tee from Jerry

Several months ago on a dive we saw a 10' nurse shark and decided to see if she was still hanging around. As we swam around we did see a large lethargic animal swimming around which turned out to be a manatee. You don't normally see these critters in such clear water so this was a treat.  

What was most impressive about this encounter was the manatee was just as curious about us and actually swam toward us. At our closest point we were less than three feet away from the manatee until he decided we were pretty boring and swam off.

He actually closed with us. 

I am just out of frame and actually facing the manatee in the photo below . This was a challenging shot as we were not on compressed air yet and had to pop to the surface for a breath and back down without scaring our new friend.

This shot is not zoomed, the photographer and I moved together and the manatee swam close enough for us to pet. Again, all this done on breath hold and without startling the little fella.
we hung out for about 5 minutes before the manatee decided he had betters things to attend. 

As he swam away we repositioned to see if we could get another full-frame shot of this incredible beast 

We didn't get anyone in the shots to give a frame of reference on the size of this animal. That said he was about 40 ft long, prove me wrong.
Maybe not quite 40'

Happy tails to you until we meet again.


Mark J said...

Fun pictures! Manatees are pretty docile and trusting of us human beans. That gets them into trouble sometimes, but it's good s/he approached YOU, not some jerk!

Sally said...

oh my goodness. When can I come down? I love anything from the sea...especially these guys and sea turtles. SO jealous.

Mary, MN said...

Gorgeous pictures! What a grand experience to remember forever. I was able to see humpback whales while I was there. I'll never forget it!
Right now, while we are in the midst of winter, I am sooo jealous of the weather down there....