MARCH 27TH, 2017 – DAY TWO OF THE DIVE AND DRIVE
Miles Driven: 153 miles this day – Total Miles Driven 533
Our second day of the Dive and Drive Roadtrip was filled with excitement for our next stop: the Crystal River! Adam and I didn’t want to miss this area because it is famous for its manatee population. The manatees come here from the Gulf of Mexico to enjoy the warm springs – and we wanted to see them!!
We started the day driving from Satellite Beach, across the state of Florida, ending in Crystal River about 8pm. We somewhat magically found the most indirect and slow, but beautiful way to drive from the East to the West Coast, following flower-lined roads that took us through tiny towns and farming communities. We stayed at Plantation on Crystal River which is adjacent to Plantation Adventure Center. Plantation Adventure Center is a dive and snorkel company that we chose to snorkel with the manatees with—and their first charter of the day met at 6:45 am!!! We got up the morning of Day Three EARLY to gather up snorkels, wetsuits, masks and cameras, then walked over to the Adventure Center. We had a small boat, two crew (captain and in-water guide) and eight guests. We pushed off looking for manatees by 7:15 am.
We got super lucky, saw several groups of mating manatees almost right away, then found a mother and calf later in the morning. The manatees were unbelievably gentle and curious. We simply slid in and waited in the water near the animals. They approached us to investigate within no time. What an experience!
Adam and I ended the in-water adventure covered in manatee kisses, having been brushed, sniffed and sneezed on by mom and calf and completely in awe of these strong, but very gentle giants. Now we’re off to Vortex Spring, Florida to camp and dive this fresh water spring. Check out how Vortex Springs turned out!