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Old 09-12-2009, 08:06 AM
conchxpress conchxpress is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: South Tampa, Key West
Posts: 244
Default Marine Life While Paddling

Last weekend I was doing my usual morning paddle and was heading north in the channel between Davis and Harbour Islands in Tampa, hugging the seawall to avoid the Saturday onslaught of recreational boaters. I was thinking of a show I had just watched on the NG Channel the night before about the fresh water adaptability of bull sharks when I heard a large splash behind me. Then a large shadow crossed under my board, then another, and another. Then one of the shadows surfaced to get a gulp of air. I was in the company of a pod of four adult manatees. I paddled with them for about a mile and they never once executed any evasive action. At one point, two of them surfaced, each on one side of my board, so close I couldn't paddle anymore for fear of hitting them with my paddle. They remained for a moment checking me out, then continued in their slow trek up the canal. Any powerful thrust of their tails would have sent me into the water, but they only propelled themselves just enough to clear the space around the board. I continued with them until the mouth of the Hillsboro River and then we parted ways. Life is good.
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