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wchen

Gentle Giants

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I added a couple days to a dive trip to snorkel with the manatees in Crystal River this week. The water viz was between 3-12 feet. Terrible and green. This is "off season" for manatees for this area, but supposedly they can be found fairly reliably all year around. It was nice seeing only a couple boats out during this trip. On my boat I had only 3 and 4 other passengers. I can see this place turning into a zoo during the "on" season. I didn't get the shots I wanted (I wanted a mother/baby shot - maybe next time), but really enjoyed the encounters. I got to scratch a few manatees under their armpits. Some really enjoy this and will rollover.

 

A couple tips and notes for those who may go in the future:

 

1. free diving is not allowed

2. I wore a 3mm + 3mm vest and was still cold

3. strobes are allowed (at least currently)

4. try to shoot more vertical shots than you think you're actually taking

 

 

67604726.37JBGsiA.sm_MG_4816_Day8copy.jpg

 

 

Rolling over for more scratches.

67604727.qod1bncU.sm_MG_4821_Day8copy.jpg

 

 

 

67604787.U29yc3dm.sm_MG_4687_Day7copy.jpg

 

 

 

67529854.2HC3bQcd.sm_MG_4669_Day7copy.jpg

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Isn't the person in the background free diving?

 

Snorkeling = not the same as Free DIVING!

 

Verry nice pictures! i have to do that some day

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Define free diving for me? Does this mean thet you are not allowed to dive to the bottom with the manatees? Does snorkeling then mean that you cannot free dive to the bottom? That seems a little silly. But hey, my name ain't Webster either.

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According to the tour operator they didn't want anyone diving down to the bottom. THe thinking is that the manatee police cannot observe you when you are underwater. Thus you may be "molesting" the manatee when underwater. I don't agree with this, it seems like silly thinking, and it really wasn't enforced.

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Got it. That's what I thought "free diving" meant in terms of the manatees.

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