Monday, April 04, 2011

Space Coast Adventures: Here Be Manatees.

For a while now I have been wanting to see manatees in the wild.  So while we were in Florida we drove over to the Merritt Island Nature Reserve and checked out the majestic sea cow in person.

Manatees are slow moving beasts with obvious tell tale signs of their presence.  First of all is the grass floating on the water that they kick up as they graze on the bottom of the rivers.  Second is that they leave disturbances in the water as they exhale and move their tails underwater.  If you are in a Floridian river and see a series of large circles mysteriously appear in the water, odds are a manatee is about to surface.  

Merritt Island Nature Reserve had a ton of other animals.  Some of them that we saw were gators, lizards, a bunch of birds, dolphins, and s star fish.

After lunch we parted ways with the in-laws, and went geocaching.  I was 4 caches away from 400, and I had a specific cache in mind for my 400th.  So we spent some time finding 3 caches.  On cache two, on a causeway over the Indian river, I bent over to search under a tree and felt a strange sensation... it was only later that I realized that I split my shorts almost in two, down the leg from my left pocket down to almost my knee.  We were a half hour from the hotel, so we patched it with safety pins.  I spent the rest of the day getting scratched, but to the best of my knowledge no one noticed the gaping hole in my shorts, or the rather large amount of metal holding it together.

For my 400th cache I decided to pick a big cache for a big accomplishment, so I found the biggest one I could find.  The container is a 3'x4'x2' plywood ammo can.    It is by far the largest cache I have ever found.

All in all it was a wonderful day of exploration.  Couldn't have asked for a better outcome (aside from intact pants :)