On our holiday trek back to Florida, we’re spending the next few days at The Plantation on Crystal River, in Crystal River, FL. One of its many offerings is an hour long cruise on King’s Bay, the outlet of Crystal River before spilling into the Gulf of Mexico. One of the things Crystal River is known for is being one of the wintering spots for manatees. When the Gulf gets cooler, manatees head up the rivers on Florida’s Nature Coast, gathering in large pods to keep warm.
There was only another couple on the boat with us, so it was easy to move around. The captain, Brian, and his one person crew, pulled us out of the berth and out into the open water. It was in the upper 70’s, a perfect Florida winter day. The wildlife were definitely out.
The first picture of two trees shows an island that once held a house. The second is another abandoned house sitting on its own island. Both were made uninhabitable by hurricanes. Then, we found manatees.
Some sped on by while another manatee just cruised along with our boat until stopping for a snack. As we cruised along, looking for others, we spotted dolphins. The dolphins find a school of fish, circle around them, and then dive in to snatch up a fish or two. They did this a couple times as we watched.
Once they were done, they opted to cruise along the bow of the boat for a bit.
At only $15 per person for adults and $10 for children under 12, this is a wonderful way to spend an hour on the water. You don’t have to be staying at The Plantation on Crystal River to partake of the tour. Because the manatees and dolphins are wild animals, no guarantee of sightings can be made, but the captain will do all they can to make the trip as enjoyable as possible.