Crystal River Trip Report

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Ted | VCKC
Published Tuesday, November 1, 2005

Date: November 1, 2005

Talk about a paddle experience! Thirty-three club members, many of who had never kayaked before, paddled among numerous pods (I think that's the right term) of manatees in the Kings Bay area of Crystal River. We didn't have to paddle far before our guides, Brack and Matt pointed out the telltale signs of manatees just below the surface and wow!!! At about 4 or 5 different stops, we found ourselves floating over these gentle and large creatures. Throughout our encounter, the manatees surfaced around as if they were curious to look at us.

Jerry Lester, our webmaster, caught the alluring eye of one manatee that surfaced to blow Jerry a very wet raspberry.

At one point, we came upon an underwater photographer and his guide boat. He was taking pictures of the manatees for a local magazine and he included shots of our group which he assured us would be included with his photos. Hopefully, someone got either his name or that of the magazine.

This was my first outing on the Crystal, which without the manatees, would not have been an exciting paddle. We put in at 10AM and took out at 12 noon. We paddled the Bay which would be more open type water than we normally do and then into some inlet where manatees are normally sighted. I was very impressed with how quickly and well those with no kayak experience mastered the art. No one, that I saw, had any difficulties. Hats off to all!

While the skies were gray, we beat the rain and the weather made for pleasant temps.

Travel distance from The Villages was as posted on the trip notice.

All ate at Crackers afterwards and enjoyed a great lunch and shared memories of their Manatee encounters. To include Jerry and his new found but very wet friend.

Special thanks to Al Letch for organizing this special trip.

Last update Thursday, April 10, 2008

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