When Russ and I left Fort Lauderdale, we came back over to the Gulf Coast but drove north of Fort Myers to St. Petersburg and Tampa. We crossed the whole Tampa Bay on an incredible bridge to get to St. Petes. We pulled into a campground where no one was around and we had to just pick out a spot and move in. Neighbors helped and we really enjoyed our week. We swam and rode bikes, went down to the St. Petes waterfront area (see photos on next blog) and then crossed another Bay Bridge into Tampa. Its downtown and waterfront were beautiful and the stadium where the hockey team plays is gorgeous.
But ever since we arrived in Florida, we saw signs to save the Manatees. Yet out on the Everglades we never got a look at these marvelous gigantic mammals. So when I saw that Florida Power had set up an observation area on the Bay where the water is warm during the winter months, I knew we had to get there. After all they leave mid April. The manatee is closest in DNA to the Elephant. They are counted by airplanes, as you don’t get to see too much of them. They have no predator except us, with the fishing nets and junk that catches them and keeps them from getting to the surface for air. They are up to 2000 pounds.
The new walkway at the site was over the water and we could look down on them and catch their getting air and sticking their funny fins out of the water as if to wave. Oh, yeah, there were parking spots at the site where you could plug in your cars.