We have been extremely lucky this year, as we have been able
to spend a lot of time with Jen and Eric. Eric has been busy working but Jen is
currently applying for a job as a nurse practitioner. So, we never know which day
she is available as the job interviews, and call backs can be very sudden.
It has been a few years since we had last gone to see the
manatees, at the power plant on the east side of Tampa Bay. One of the local
news stations had shown a vast number of manatees by the power plant, and so we
decided to make a manatee trip!
Jen had the day free and, so she drove us in her new car
around the bay and to the power plant. As we approached the first parking lot
we saw that it was full and, so we drove past the second and third lots before
finally finding a parking spot in the overflow area.
Shuttles were available, but we decided to walk the short
distance and return by walking to the distant observation tower. As I am
counting my daily steps on my Fit bit, I always appreciate a nice walk! The trail
took us to the manatee viewing headquarters and what t a crowd of people!
A warm front had returned and so there were a lot more
people than manatees! In fact, the manatees, were quite some ways away from the
viewing platform. You probably know why they are there as they come in from the
bay to keep warm in the water discharges.
In the above image you can barely make out their resting
shapes as they are so far away! A sign was posted stating that he best place to
see the manatees was out on the long viewing pier and, so we walked out there
stopping almost immediately to see that the warm water had not attracted just
the manatees but huge schools of tarpon and jack crevalle!
I started to take images as every now and then one of the
tarpon would jump. If you look carefully you can see the huge silvery fish, and
I so wished fishing were allowed, (I have tried fly casting for tarpon before
but have never had a pickup)!
To give you an idea of size the large tarpon are over six
feet in length. They can grow to over eight feet and can reach weights of over
three hundred and fifty pounds.
Imagine hooking one while in your kayak! The tarpon
was intermixed with schools of large Jack Creville.
That’s another fish I have
yet to catch and I have heard that they are almost impossible to land on a
We watched the fish for quite a while and I caught the end
of one of the jumping tarpon. Not a great shot but it was clear across the bay.
Schools of sheepshead fed on the posts, and Renita and Jenny spotted a black tip
An extremely harsh cold front is forecast for
next week, (highs in the fifties), and so that should make for excellent
manatee viewing. We however, will be driving back to Texas, where our parked
fifth wheel awaits. Its been a relaxing time here, and we may have to rent a
place on the beach again! Clear
Occasionally, a deep brown shape would appear as a manatee
swam by in the deep water, and I did catch one that had just broached the
surface taking a breath. Less often an eagle ray would jump but I never got an
image of one. So, the day was a success! On the way back, we walked to the
Observation Tower and I got my daily steps!
Nice post. We did the same thing on the East Coast this week with the same results many fish few manatees.ReplyDelete