I’d like to think that the endangered manatees can bounce back, beat the odds and find it back to a more natural peaceful existence. This harmless gentle placid giant has existed in peace for millions of years before the coming of man, it's only enemy. Man can turn from enemy to advocate but only if we care enough. It has been and continues to be my pleasure to encounter manatee on their terms and always in wonder. While the numbers of manatee deaths in 2013 were historic and the Indian River plagued with algae blooms I had an incredible summer paddling and encountering these amazing creatures. They were active as any other summer and I saw a large number of calves. Perhaps the south end of Brevard County is healthier and the manatees are smart enough to know it.  Either way I am immensely grateful and full of joy to have these encounters and even recognize them with their different personalities, playfulness and propeller scars. On tour  this week a new mother swam with me as I slowly paddled breathless at times in awe of her new calf. To witness someone smile and get excited when a wild manatee approaches them as the observed not the observer is priceless and something to cherish and save for future generations. I am hopeful and believe others are as well.



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