Wednesday, August 31, 2011

#3: Manatee Spring - 8/24-25/11

At the end of a long, hot day on the Suwannee River tagging sturgeon fish, we walked down the boardwalk to the spring head. The spring run is closed to snorkelers, divers, and boaters because there are often manatees in the run. Unfortunately we did not see any, but after a 10 minute walk down the boardwalk, the view of the crystal clear spring in contrast to the tea-colored Suwannee River we were floating in all day was absolutely amazing. KS, MR, PT, and I all jumped in and were instantly refreshed by the chilly (~68-72 degrees F) water. There were a few fish and quite a bit of algae on the major wall going down to the spring (the one to my right in the picture below) but the force of the water coming out of the spring was amazing. The spring opening is in 25 feet of water and as you approach, you have to pull yourself really hard to move against the force of the water. When you let go of the rock near the opening, it sends you shooting to the surface, so I wasn't as upset about not having my neon yellow fins. We swam in the spring for 2 days in a row... I was sure to bring my mask on the 2nd day for maximum time swimming around. Thanks to PT for the pictures :)

Bubbles caught on the algae.

Checking out the opening to the spring.... about to be pushed to the surface by the force of the water.

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