In February Jason and I took a wonderfully relaxing two-week vacation. We got to do many exciting things between our week in South Carolina and our week in Florida, but kayaking with the manatees was one of the highlights of the trip.  (I’ll post more about the rest of the trip later).

We went to Crystal River with my mom and our Florida friend, Beth.  We each rented single kayaks from Crystal River Kayak Company.  Mom and Beth rented sit in kayaks and Jason and I opted for sit on top kayaks.  We’ve been wanting to try out the sit on tops anyway and we ended up loving them so will be purchasing two of the in the near future.

We kayaked through the springs and up to King’s Bay. It was a very windy day so we didn’t venture too far into the actual bay though you can paddle up to the restaurants on the bay and stop in for lunch before continuing paddling around. The wind made the water very choppy, so staying in the spring areas gave us more chances to see the manatees.

There were a  lot of them there and it was very cool to see them swimming right underneath the kayaks at random intervals.  Once in a while, a big manatee nose would surface right next to us! Most of them were resting in the roped off areas but we still were able to get a good look at them.

We also saw a ton of pipefish, an osprey flying overhead, an eagle and lots of other native birds and fish.  It was a wonderful experience and I’d love to go back on a less windy day and do the 4-hour outing to include lunch in the bay and take my good camera for some better photos.

All photos can be seen here, but my favorites I’ll post below.