Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Manatee

Last Thursday, Friday and Saturday I packed up a majority of my students, and headed for Florida. The annual Manatee fieldtrip is one of my favorites - this year was great too. We didn't see as many manatee because it was a lot warmer, but my students are amazing, and showed such absolute trust in me that was very heartwarming. I did get an underwater digital camera for Christmas (thanks Brian) and was CHARGED UP to use it, but only saw a few. Most of my pics are of my students which I can't share, but I managed a few natural wildlife all the same.
The kids became very adept at identifying a few fish - mullet (above) the loved because we read the book Hoot before we went and they tried to catch a few like Mullet Fingers does in the story.
This is a sheepshead - once I gave them the name they quit saying zebrafish.
Then of course, the amazing manatee. Not too many because of warmer temperatures and scuba divers (they don't like a sound that scuba gear makes, and we watched them leave an area VERY quickly when the divers showed up).
This one below, wanted us to rub his belly. This onewas wonderful because it hung around for a LONG time and allowed a bunch of the kids to experience it.
We also snorkeled Rainbow River- no manatee, but tremendously gorgeous scenery. We saw turtles, birds, fish of all sizes, and of course the bubbling sand.

I will try to post some video I (or my colleague) took, but I can't have any with students in it, and quite honestly, mine are very jerky because I was swimming students on both arms, whenever they got scared their little hands would start to shake (my arm) and it was hard to take a lot of decent anything.

4 comments:

eavice said...

Would you be willing to share your resource for the dive? We are heading down for the next shuttle launch (when ever that may be) and this would be a good experience for the kids.

randy said...

I have a really cool Manatee video that I took last summer from behind my house on Marco Island,Florida.Please watch,enjoy and make a comment if you like.

cribguy1@gmail.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBL6HBr4Km0

Kelly said...

Elizabeth - you can email me at tsarina206 at yahoo dot com if you like. We stay in Crystal River Fl, over at the Best Western (Pretty reasonable IMO). Behind the hotel is the Crystal Lodge dive shop (or something like that). Through them you can rent a boat for about 25.00 an hour (min. 2 hours) as well as wetsuits. You may have to buy snorkels and fins (its part of our student's price). PLEASE make sure you ask to watch the video about laws because you can get a hefty ticket (look up manatee harassment on youtube - it is VERY disturbing what some groups do). We also take the kids to nearby Homasassa Wildlife to check out native animals that are being rehabilitated. They have some GIGANTIC manatee, but also do wonderful presentations on many of their animals. We take them to Rainbow River to snorkel down as well, there are no manatee there but it is gorgeous - they also have kayaks and tubes for rent that are very reasonable as well as a shuttle service. If you email me I'll share some websites to check out. Our school uses a group in Myrtle Beach called NuHorizon, but you may be able to do it cheaper on your own.

Kelly said...

Randy - I hope to post video soon - it's all at school and I'm trying to edit. Thanks for sharing.