USA/FL: Homosassa Spring – Swimming with Manatees

There are two hot spring systems (they are connected) that flow out into the Caribbean from the northern part of the Florida panhandle – Crystal Spring and Homosassa Spring. Both re prime area to see and swim with the endangered manatees in the coldest months of the year. Manatees are massive slow moving mammals that float slowly underwater feeding on sea grasses, occasionally coming for air. Despite their fat appearance, they have very little body fat, and when the ocean waters drop below 68F/20C, they come en masse into the warm water of fed by hot springs). Hundreds and sometimes thousands of manatees can be see here – the colder the weather the more manatees you can see on a swim. We got quite lucky with a very chilly morning and easily swam with 3/5 dozen manatees! Manatees are extremely playful and they swim to you and with you and under you. They turn and roll and actually enjoy being petted and rubbed. They come face to face with you and even head butt you gently.