If you live nearby or visit often enough, you already know that the Gulf waters are constantly ever-changing, just as life is for us, as well. Some days the water is so clear you can see the bottom, beautiful shells to be found, interesting beauties of nature like star fish and sea horses, and yet other days the water can be murky or filled with sea weed. Some days the water and under toe can be very rough and dangerous or occasionally almost as smooth as a lake. The waters can hold dangers like jelly fish or in a far distance a sting ray, dolphins playing innocently or maybe even a fin of a shark can be seen.
As in life, the easy times and rough ones, the pretty things and ugly ones, the safe moments and possibilities of danger..we all deal with them . As life under the water, some are more pleasant and enjoyable than others, but all necessary.
This past Sunday we had an amazing experience. Gamble, my mother and I were out on the sandbar floating in waist deep water, a couple of feet away from each other, chatting when we noticed a giant dark mass coming towards us. It startled us at first because of all the possibilities that it could be. Then Gamble noticed the characteristic aspects of it-the shape of the body, the rounded back fin, he knew it was a manatee. We thought it would see us and go around or shift direction, but instead it swam right between us. Gamble reached down and petted it as it slowly swam by. It was something very special for us to experience.
If you don't know a lot about manatees they are interesting creatures. You can learn more about them here and read about Snooty who just celebrated his 61st birthday. He lives in Bradenton and you can go visit him daily. It is fun to watch the handlers feed him. They are very gentle but big, not necessarily the prettiest thing that you have ever seen (after all they are also called the sea cow), but they still hold that puppy dog kind of face--at least I think so.