Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Road Trip - Part 2: Manatees

Daniel had booked a hotel for us right on the water in Cocoa Beach near Cape Canaveral. It wasn't until we were there that I realized that Cocoa Beach was the setting for the 1960s TV comedy I Dream of Jeannie (Bezaubernde Jeannie in German). Fun!
After a gorgeous sunrise that Daniel caught on camera while I was still getting ready (ok, so I was sleeping in a little...),

and a most excellent breakfast at Simply Delicious Cafe & Bakery (we especially loved their pistachio muffins!!),
we went looking for manatees. After I mentioned to Daniel that it was too bad that the manatees would have gone in search for warmer waters and would not be around this time of year, Daniel did some research and found that there is a warm spring in Blue Spring State Park where manatees come during the winter.
So, we drove up there with high hopes and saw much more than expected!
Apparently the warm waters attract not only manatees, but also vast numbers of fish, which were easily visible because of the very clear spring water.
And then we spied the first couple of manatees right by a beautiful great blue heron.
And some more by this interesting looking anhinga.
And then we saw many of them just basking in the warm waters!
They looked so docile and peaceful and were a joy to watch.
They even got along quite well with a lone alligator in their midst.

A view up the beautiful spring waters feeding into the St. Johns River.

And here is where the water bubbles up from below. Do you see all the fish around the spring? We read that the spring flows at about an average rate of 100 million gallons of water per day with a steady temperature of 72 degrees F (22 degrees C), making it an ideal winter refuge for the manatees who need warm waters for survival.
We are planning to come back after March 1 when you can actually swim and snorkel in designated (meaning alligator-free) areas around the spring.
Stay tuned for more wildlife pictures tomorrow!! 


  1. What a great trip. It's wonderful to see the manatees in their natural surroundings. I've seen them at the Columbus Zoo and it made me feel bad that they were in a tank. Thanks for sharing your vacation!!

  2. ~what a beautiful haven for these manatees to swim freely and stay warm during the winter months...i am mesmerized by your picture journey you have shared with us...simply gorgeous moments you have captured...now i am off to read yesterdays post to see what i missed...much love light and blessings~

  3. The waters are just amazing; so clear and everything visible! It doesn't look real~~beautiful, exotic, like it couldn't possibly be around!
    I Dream Of Jeannie....yep, there is one I remember. Thought that was what A.F. life would be like.
    Oh--HA! Shove me in a bottle till retirement please.....LOL!!!


  4. OMG silke, this is a trip to heaven for me!! how utterly totally beautiful. the clear waters showcase everything else. have a great time, which is to say keep on doing what you're doing

    ps inspirations surfacing? keep notes!

  5. These photos are absolutely amazing! What a beautiful paradise - definitely a great way to refresh and start the new year. So inspiring! I love those manatees- what amazing creatures! Theresa

  6. Wow! How exciting to see these creatures in real life and in their natural habitat! I am so glad Daniel did the research, and I'm glad that you took all these photos to share. this was really interesting. So glad you both had such a lovely time!

    Loved the birds too, such wildlife!

  7. Silke - I am loving these photos - makes me so want to be there! Your manatee pictures are fabulous - and I LOVE the photo of you and Daniel! So glad this was a wonderful trip for you!!


  8. i love these photos!!!!!!

    so beautiful and as always....i especially LOVE the last photo the best!!

    you two are the cutest!!!!
    enjoy enjoy enjoy!


  9. Silke these photos are amazing!! My favs are the first couple of ocean shots! Wow! Its fun to travel with you through these pictures! :)

  10. What a super trip - the sunrise was beautiful!

  11. OH, that was fantastic! Thanks for the wonderful photos and no way would I snorkel in even an alligator-free area (too much of a chicken here) but the water looks great. I've never seen Manatees that close up.

  12. WHOOOOWW!!! What a treat! I love manatees!!! Great photos, Silke. Hope you are well. Tsup!

  13. Absolutely amazing how crystal clear the water is at the spring. Gorgeous color. Fantastic photos, and yet I must say that my favorite is the last one. What a beautiful couple! Movie star beautiful.
    **blows kisses** Deb