Two days ago the fam went to Gasparilla Island State Park near the village of Boca Grande. There are some rocks near an old pier where the snorkeling is pretty good. We saw crabs, small fish and some interesting shells. There was quite a current flowing southward along the beach toward Boca Grande pass as well. It was fun to do a snorkel drift by swimming north and drifting south!
The winds have been really strong down here for over a week and on our beach day, they finally calmed down a little. But as we had found, each day the wind swung from east to west like clockwork bringing clouds in the late afternoon This day, the same thing happened so the waves built up as did the silt in the water.
There were also two manatees which patrolled the beach. They were the star attractions for the beach goers that day. The water was pretty clear and you could easily see their dark shapes gliding along the sandy shoreline. Now and then you could spot their whiskered snouts above the water as they came up to breathe.
I could see one of the manatees coming from quite a distance so I grabbed my underwater camera, mask and snorkel and sprinted into the water. I kicked out about 40′ from shore. I had to put the brakes on when a large shape came out of the silty gloom almost beside me. I was in awe as it had a quick glance at me as it slowly passed by. I don’t like the idea of organized “swims with manatees” or dolphins for that matter. And I won’t touch one on purpose either. I kept a respectful distance (I hope) and filmed it as it swam by. What a great experience.
Sadly, we didn’t see any dolphins that day. Sometimes we see them hunting near the Pass and along the shore but not that day. Oh well…
Hope you enjoy the pictures and videos below.