Looking for manatees

When my sisters were here over Thanksgiving weekend we went out looking for manatees. The most dependable place to find them is at the Manatee Viewing Center at the Tampa electric plant on the other side of the bay. The manatees congregate here in the winter months due to the electric plant’s discharge canal where the water that cools the electric plant is sent back out into the bay warm and clean. I’ve been there before over the years when you could see hundreds of manatees near the boardwalk but this time there were none. You could see a few far out in the canal but they just looked like bumps floating in the water. We would have been crushed if we hadn’t seen the below the day before.

Another reliable place to see manatees (and much closer to my home) is the Safety Harbor fishing pier. We were out running around one afternoon and stopped by on the way home. We counted at least 6 swimming around the pier so we hung out there for a while watching them come up for air.

Linking to My Corner of the World.

The annual visit to the manatees

dsc_9999 dsc_9998

One of the fun outdoor things to do when my sisters are here for Christmas is to drive over to the Tampa Electric Company to see the manatees. The electric plant pulls in cold water to cool the plant and flushes out the warm water so the manatees spend the winter in the channel next to the plant where the water is warmer.

dsc_9997

dsc_9988

dsc_0049

dsc_0001

It’s always fun seeing the manatees floating around in the channel.  Several of them were floating on their backs.  Some of them only stick their noses out to get air.

img_1365

img_1359

dsc_0011

They have a new stingray pool where you can pet them.  You can also see them out in the channel swimming by.

dsc_0019

The mangroves along the channel are covered in these black mangrove crabs.

dsc_0027

White pelicans were flying high over our heads.

dsc_0013

Pretty flower in the butterfly garden.

It was a beautiful day right before Christmas but too warm.  82 degrees is too hot for the end of December. It would have been nice to have long sleeves on when we were out running around. The tourist from up north didn’t seem to mind. I’m sure they were all happy to be out of the snow.  The Manatee Viewing Center at TECO is only opened from November through April.  Even though the weather was warm, there were still plenty of manatees to see.

SkyWatch Friday

A roadtrip to see floating cows – Skywatch Friday

DSC_0015

Statue of a manatee at the entrance to the Manatee Viewing Center.

DSC_9965

Manatees kissing?

DSC_9961

A night heron cruising around the manatee area.

DSC_9992

Coming up for air. What a nose!

DSC_9993

This one was floating on his back.

DSC_0002

He started floating towards the boardwalk. I was hoping he would float under us.

DSC_0003

Just as he got to the boardwalk he turned over.

DSC_9977

Tricolored heron flying by.

DSC_9980

Warm water coming out of the electric plant.

IMG_2635

The viewing center is across from the TECO (Tampa Electric Co) plant. It was not a nice day. Cloudy and muggy but it was still fun being out and seeing all of the manatees congregate around the warm water coming from the electric plant. I should have taken pictures of all of the people. This was the day after Christmas and the boardwalk was wall to wall people.

Check out more sky pictures at Skywatch Friday