Old School Bill's Man Bag 4 Hour Manatee Trip
Apollo Beach Travel Blog› entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
A quick stop on 3-25-08!! The 1st 6 are new!
Decided to take a short trip to the Manatee viewing center in Apollo Beach today.
I am adverse to talking the Interstate so we took the long way down Hwy 41, this made the trip there in about 18 minutes instead of the 11 by I-75.
The Tampa Electric manatee viewing center is just south of Tampa Electric’s 1492 acre power plant s with combined 1800 megawatts output.
The reason the manatees like Big Bend so much is when the saltwater used in the condensing process to cool the boiler is recycled back into canal the Tampa Electric uses the term slightly warmer.
The manatees I know like Maggie , Mort & MoMo before his unfortunate incarceration say hot tub or spa.
I don’t know I have never been in that water, I can only tell you what my manatee friends tell me.
Admission is free.
They have a Gift shop where I have an inside source for manatee group arrival tips.
My neighbor Granny volunteers in the Manatee Gift Shop.
Talk about a great historian of Gibsonton, Florida, she has lived in the same house 4 or 5 houses north of me for 45 years.
The Snack Bar is well stocked & of course done in the manatee motif as everything is.
It is an incredible experience when there are large numbers of manatees in the canal.
I have seen it that way; unfortunately it was not that way today.
It is a pretty place to spend a half hour if the manatees are not in & all day if they are.
So I took a bunch of picture of the park, the informational signs, gift shop & stuff. Granny will call when the whole herd is in the canal.
When she calls I will make an exception to the I-75 rule & get a bunch of pictures to share with you.
MANATEE QUICK FACTS
Florida manatee-Trichechus manatus latitostris.
First referenced by early TravBuddy member Christopher Columbus in 1493.
Large, plant eating-warm blooded marine mammal.
Average adult 10 ft. long-1200 pounds-spatula shaped tail-gray brown.
Depth perception limited-hears well.
Eats 60 to100 lb. in 6 to 8 hr. a day
Gestation period-13 months
Tampa Bay is home to about 100 manatees-300 during winter high season
Nimble-able to stand on head-barrel rolls.
Rest from 2 to 12 hours a day breathing every 7 to 12 minutes
Florid Fish & Wildlife 2001 aerial survey-,3276 manatees
Threats-boat collisions-flood gates-poaching-fishing lines Natural causes-extreme cold & Red Tide
Manatee protection-slow down in known manatee areas-do not feed, pet or come in contact withIf you are in the Tampa Bay area it will be well worth it to visit visit Tampa Electric Manatee Viewing Center.
You can't beat the price, it is FREE.
There are good local places in every direction & chains of all kinds.