Manatees in the Murk

Posted by on Apr 16, 2017 in Travel Update, United States | 9 Comments

A full-grown manatee, which can weigh more than 1,000 pounds, looks like the result of a genetic experiment involving a walrus and the Goodyear Blimp.
Dave Barry

West Indian Manatee (Photo courtesy of River Ventures, Crystal River)

One of Laurie’s goals on this Journey Across America was to swim with the manatees. We did that last week in Crystal River, Florida. It was fun, even though water conditions were murky and many of the manatees have migrated from the area to other waters.

Enjoy the adventure in the short video following.





We saw a number of adult manatees and several calfs. The adults average 1000 pounds and ten feet in length. They are wild, but gentle, animals. You’re not allowed to harass or impede them but they don’t have the same rules.

Gator warning. Florida is not for wimps.

Trip Update. We are eight weeks into our four and one half month Journey Across America. We entered Florida last Sunday and have only spotted one small (18 inch) alligator. The other million or so gators must be hiding. We set off Easter Sunday, after church, for Fort Meyers on our way to a few days in the Everglades. I expect we’ll see a few more there.




  1. Janie
    April 27, 2017

    So fun to see you swim with those gentle giants! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Patty deRidder
    April 17, 2017

    Hi, folks,
    Loved the manatee video–didn’t realize these had bumpy skin–kind of like an overage jicama! Glad to see your beer posts on Untappd, too!

    • Dennis
      April 18, 2017

      In the animal kingdom they’re related to the elephant. The skin looks a lot like them.
      Trying some good beers in this far end of the country!

  3. worldrover11
    April 17, 2017

    We may try to do another swim with the sea cows (manatees) tour on the east side of Florida in clearer waters. But during the next few days we’ll be in the Everglades where we expect to see more than a few gators!

    • Margaret
      April 17, 2017

      so fun!!! We just watched a program on these large creatures.
      The location was Puerto Rico. 🙂

    • Dennis
      April 18, 2017

      Puerto Rico makes sense–they like warm waters.

  4. David Lewtas
    April 17, 2017

    That was a funny dialogue you all had with those “cuties” in the murk!
    Thanks for that. So NOW I won’t need to do that experience!
    Of course, I never heard of them before, but I enjoyed seeing
    your experiences!

  5. Kim Vandel
    April 16, 2017

    How fun! Thanks for sharing your adventure.