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Lisa Taub

Cambridge, Massachusetts Travel Agent

Swimming with the Manatees, Crystal River FLA

Manatee, Crystal River FLA
Manatee, Crystal River FLA

Forty years ago, I made a wish. It started with a school project and a friend who was a SCUBA diver. My wish was to swim with the manatees.

My friend often shared that his manatee dive was among his most memorable dives. Gentle giants quietly swimming in the Gulf of Mexico and migrating into warmer, spring-fed waters during the winter.

It might seem silly – to hold onto a wish for so long. But this dream wove its way into my life story. Trips to the aquarium and the zoo.

Snorkeling in the Caribbean to marvel at colorful corals and fish. Boat excursions to see blue whales gracefully glide through the ocean with a tail flip and dolphins entertain by wake-jumping and chirping in conversation. I still dreamed about the manatees. 

Finally, my wish came true this past February. 

Spectacular is an understatement. Floating in the water close to them – just watching. Manatees are best enjoyed at a tranquil pace, keeping still as they approach your arm or nuzzle your mask. To wonder at these faces once mistaken for mermaids. I shivered in the chill of the morning air and the pure joy of a dream come true.A silver lining in a dark season, my swim with the manatees reminded me travel matters. This was my first swim with the manatees, it won’t be my last.

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