I LOVE animals! Almost all kind of them (besides spiders eek!). Cruising the ICW thoroughly satisfies me as I get to see a lot of different creatures every day. Guess how many bird pictures I've already taken? Marco sometimes just shakes his head ;-)
Since we entered Florida we spotted signs saying "Manatee-Zone, no wake" (eh, not understandable for all as you could read in my last post) but we never got to see one - until yesterday. We just had secured the ropes after a challenging docking maneuver as a couple asked us: "do you want to see a manatee?" Hell, yes! I just had time to grab my camera and couldn't believe it - there were two manatees trying to slurp water dropping off a boat. Before we even saw them we could HEAR them! Amazing animals! At the first glance they looked kind of ugly but while watching them how they behaved and moved we just decided: they are CUTE!
Unfortunately they are a highly endangered species and therefore protected. They don't seem to have any natural enemies but there are many human-related fatalities as collisions with watercraft, ingestion of fishhooks or litter and loss of habitat. If you want to know more, I found this link of "Save the Manatee" Club quite informative.