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Peace on Earth and Goodwill toward Manatees


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#1 seagrant

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Posted 24 December 2005 - 09:23 PM

Hello and Happy Holidays all! Carol here with an Xmas Eve message.

I've spent the last three days snorkeling with our manatee friends just north of where I live here in Crystal River. There are a record number of manatee in the Crystal River area at this time, I forgot the exact number but it was something like 420 or 430 individual manatee. Being that I heard locals say that years ago when the protection measures first went into place there were only about 70 counted in Crystal River, that is a huge success for an endangered species!

The sad news is many of the manatee bear scars from the propellers of boats. In fact the scars look really bad but they are not the most serious thing, it is the spinal or internal damage that is the worst. So we still have a lot of work to do to even more thoroughly protect these gentle, docile and curious creatures from pointless injury.

It has been absolute magic these last three days. I have been practicing with my camera setup that I added to recently, I hope you like these pictures.

So Merry Xmas, Peace on Earth and Goodwill toward Manatee! :-)

Best, Carol


Baby, "Manny" the Manatee, coming up for a scratch!!
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"Manny" taking a breath
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"Manny" asking for just one more scratch...., mom's asleep and I'm bored!!
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Adult Manatee surfacing, 3 sister's spring, Crystal River, Florida
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Mom Manatee seems to be asking me if I'd like a scratch on the log too???
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Prop Scars, these are mild compared to most, but they are recent, probably from this Manatee's trip to the springs
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#2 MikeVeitch

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Posted 24 December 2005 - 09:55 PM

Ouch on that last one!!! poor manatee!!!

Thanks for sharing the message Carol, looks like you have some winners there for sure, some absolute stunners and i like the comments

Have a great christmas

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#3 Arnon_Ayal

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Posted 24 December 2005 - 10:58 PM

Great image of great creatures
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#4 Kelpfish

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Posted 25 December 2005 - 07:26 AM

Very nice images and report. I have been around for awhile and I remember in the 70's the desparate moves to protect the manatee's. Sounds like some of the protective measures are working. I thought there was some initiative in recent times whereby propellers in that area had to be covered in a cage? I could be wrong but I seem to recall some effort for this initiative.

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#5 james

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Posted 25 December 2005 - 09:12 AM

The shot of the adult manatee surfacing is absolutely stupendous. Well, they are all good, but that's got to be the best I've ever seen. Thanks for sharing.

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#6 seagrant

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Posted 25 December 2005 - 10:59 AM

Thank You, Ryan Cannon will be glad to know you all like the pics, he has been helping me and dealing with my 'frustrations' in a most kind and professional manner. I'm an experienced diver but still quite new to U/W photography.

Kelpfish, they say that 'prop guards' are not the answer as it is actually the impact with the keel of the boat at high speeds that causes most serious manatee injuries. While I believe that to be true, still the gashes have got to hurt, bad!! I wonder if it is just a lack of willingness to spend the $$ and politics about the prop guards? Jimmy Buffett says he never, ever, ever realized the bitter controversy he would stir up amongst many boater associations (making them slow down in manatee zones, etc), when he started the Save the Manatee club. He said he just thought everyone would want to slow down and see them!!! :)

You know there is a guy who has developed a "sonic" device to put on the bottom of boats that does allow the manatee to hear the boat coming from longer distances, and it works (currently they can't hear the boat engine frequency till it is possibly too late). That is a great solution, but again people have to have a heart and CARE and maybe spend some $$ in R & D, and not just go spewing off about human rights - (i. e.,boater rights) being violated and trying to remove the manatee from the endangered species list.

Anyway, thanks, it is a great opportunity to meet these creatures face to face, you can run into them while diving in Florida or even swimming but it is very rare. In the springs in the winter is a wonderful opportunity to see them, I have found the experience to be most profound........, I recommend it to all, but go during the week when it is clear and cold, it is not so crowded!!!

And on this holiday I thank you all for responding and taking an interest. I for one do believe there is still hope for the wonderful creatures on this planet, with people like you all who care.

Merry Holidays!! Carol :)

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#7 Rocha

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Posted 25 December 2005 - 01:35 PM

I've lived for 4 years in Florida but never got to see these guys underwater. Now I know what I missed, maybe some day in the future. Great images, and thanks for posting!

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#8 herbko

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Posted 25 December 2005 - 01:54 PM

Beautiful! I like the third on best. Ryan's an excellent teacher.
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#9 Pedda

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Posted 25 December 2005 - 02:20 PM

Great pictures,

I'm a little bit jealous about your water conditions... I wish I could have such clear and calm water when I'm down to Marsa Abu Dabab here in the Red Sea for picture taking of the Dugong.

Regrads

Peter
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