Since we’ve moved to Florida, we have found many new things underneath our boards. My favorite by far are the manatees. These gentle giants just love the warm water pumping out of the King’s Bay basin. Now that we’ve had our first frost of the year, they will be congregating and resting in our favorite paddling places.
As a stand up paddleboarding, we have an advantage over kayakers when it comes to spotting these slow moving giants. We can see down into the water much easier and change our course accordingly. Florida Manatees are an endangered species and are highly protected by state and federal law. Fines for harming and/or harassing these animals are hefty. Follow the guidelines below to stay out of trouble and help protect these slow moving mammals.
1. Practice Passive Observation. Do not initiate contact with manatees. They are curious animals, but the interaction must be their idea.
2. Do not disturb resting manatees. Reduce splashing and noise.
3. Keep an active watch. Wear polarized sunglasses to improve sight. Look for snouts and footprints (swirling water).
5. If you see a manatee stop or slow down, do not chase or paddle over the manatee.
6. Paddle gently and on the surface while watching where you place your paddle.
Don’t be the guy below. It’s dangerous and could be considered harassing these protected animals. For more information contact us Here.