|Another great trip to see the manatees and friends. We started out in Gainesville, to visit with our friends and got a personal tour (after breakfast of course) of the fabulous new manatee research lab. What a wonderful new facility. We took lots of pictures and thoroughly enjoyed our visit. Then it was off to Crystal River to see the manatees. And, as usual, we were not disappointed. We had a “new” manatee enthusiast join us this year and it turned out to be just as exciting for her.
We had many encounters with some very friendly animals, and even saw some animals that have been around for quite some time. We saw a “tagged” animal (one with a satellite tag to keep track of it’s movements) and met two new operators in the area who are very 'manatee conscientious' and were super nice people.
We saw the usual birds - osprey, herons, pelicans - but the highlight had to be the sighting of a manatee named [unfortunately due to a tail injury] “Dugong” , who I first photographed in 1995. What a great way to end a trip, knowing that this animal is still around and doing (hopefully) well. As always, can’t wait for next year’s trip.