Tag Archives: canoeing

In search of manatees in central Florida

hunter tim swimming platform2


Last year we came to visit Grandpa Bob and Grandma Liz at their place in central Florida for an early Christmas. Grandpa took us out canoeing to some local spots to check out the Manatees and it was a HIT. Over 3 outings, we probably saw and experienced over 100 Manatees. With that memory in mind, we were all very excited to come back this year!!

The two local hot spots are the Weeki Wachee springs and the Crystal River springs. When the ocean and air temps start to cool down in the winter, the manatees head inland to these springs as they are a constant 72f.

the gang with canoe crystal river

Unfortunately for us this year, the air temps are warm (sitting up in the 80s during the day and only dropping down to the high 60s at night) so the manatees are staying out in the ocean. We got lucky and found this mom and baby headed out towards the ocean as we were leaving Crystal River Springs.

manatees beside boat

We took 2 trips to the Weeki Wachee as it is only about 20 minutes away. We park down stream at Rogers park and then paddle up the river about 45 minutes. With no manatees to be found, we decided to make the most of the hot weather and enjoyed the rustic swimming park features…

Our total Manatee count this year was 3 – a definite drop!!! We felt we should at least get a token photo to remember our canoe adventures by 🙂

family manatee photo

In search of alligators in the everglades

water lilly 2


What to do on a sunny afternoon in southern Florida? Take your canoe into the everglades and go searching for alligators of course!

lee tim hunter canoe

Uncle Andy and Aunt Shannon live just on the edge of the everglades so we loaded up 2 canoes and went for a short drive. At the put in it was us in our little boats and a handful of tourist swamp boats that made alot of noise!

bob andy canoe

The temperatures were a little cool (for southern Florida – us notherners were still quite happy) and some of the Alligators seemed to be quite lethargic. We got within a foot of one before it noticed us and swamp away.



aligator 2


lee tim hunter canoe 2


We paddled for about 2 hours and saw close to 15 Alligators which made for a fun afternoon!