Two and a half stories high…, Wow! That’s a BIG manatee photo! And it’s my underwater photograph! I’ll admit it’s been a bit daunting to see it in person, finally, and I’ll honestly say it’s really impressive, lovely and makes a bold statement!
That’s My BIG Manatee Photograph Along With Gray Snapper Swimming On The Wall At Manatee Lagoon! The Cousteau Quote Gladdens My Heart!
A few weeks ago I took off on a last-minute journey across Florida to visit Manatee Lagoon, see my enormous manatee photo on their wall and scuba dive at Blue Heron Bridge. Short but sweet, the trip was amazing with friendships old and new blossoming! Manatee Lagoon is a free, newer manatee education center, but it’s much more than that! Overlooking the Lake Worth Lagoon at Florida Power and Light’s Riviera Beach site, the well-designed center is knit tightly into the local community with lectures, manatee stories for the kids, free waterfront picnic areas and even “Artful Learning” sea life painting classes for children and adults! We participated in one of the adult octopus painting classes and learned about the cephalopods of the Lake Worth Lagoon. My husband Theo, myself and our friend Peter had a blast along with everyone else in the class! The events offered are very interesting, here’s a link to their August Calendar-Manatee Lagoon Events. And, yes, that is also one of my manatee photographs on their banner website page. You may also see this image at various art shows and community functions where Florida Power & Light is promoting Manatee Lagoon.
One Of My Favorite Manatee Photographs Is Manatee Lagoon’s Banner Image!
I have a wonderful array of photographs of the Manatee Lagoon center to share, but I can’t leave out my scuba diving morning at Blue Heron Bridge on Monday, July 18th. I told everyone I wanted to see a manatee while diving and I did! Whoa! Considering I have about 200 scuba dives around and under the Blue Heron Bridge and I’ve only seen manatees while diving there three or four times out of my 200+ Blue Heron Bridge dives, that was extremely serendipitous!
Without further ado, here are my photographs of Manatee Lagoon and diving Blue Heron Bridge from July 16, 17 & 18, 2016. I hope the photographs inspire you to explore these locations that always surprise! First off, more of Manatee Lagoon:
Here Is A Portion Of The Warm-Water Outflow Area Where Manatees Aggregate In The Cooler Months. NOTE: Divers, You Will Recognize The Tall Condos In The Distance Signaling Near The Start Of Our Beloved Blue Heron Bridge Dive Sites!
Turn Left After Entering And Behold My BIG Manatee With Gray Snapper Photograph! The Mother And Calf Manatee Skeletons Have An Interesting Story Too. Here’s A Fascinating YouTube Video Of The Skeleton Assembly: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=sa70sGtpDiY
Here’s A Collage Of Some Of The Moments From Our Manatee Lagoon “Artful Learning” Event Featuring Octopus Painting. The Top Section Is Theo Demonstrating How To Paint a “Gothic” Octopus ??. My Graceful Octo Is In The Middle Between Our Friend Peter And Another Participant. Also Included Are Other Fine Painter’s Cephalopods, Even One Sporting A Mustache!
Yup, That’s Me With My Subal Underwater Camera Housing And Nikon d7200 Inside! Actually I Took This Manatee Photo With My Nikon d300, But That Subal Housing Is Currently Being Loved By A New Owner! Ever Since I Took A DSLR Underwater I’ve Trusted Subal Housings! They’re Awesome!
Upon Visiting You Will Realize Manatee Lagoon Is A Man-Made Site. Manatees Have Come To Bask In The Warm-Water Power Plant Outflow For Years. Their Survival Depends On Warm-Water Wintering Sites, Natural And Man-Made, To Stay Warm When Florida’s Water Temperatures Drop.
Elaine Has Been A Dive Buddy Of Mine Since The Early 2000s! I Was So Happy To Reconnect And Dive With Her On Monday Morning After My Visit To Manatee Lagoon. I Rarely Put a Wide-Angle Lens On At The Bridge, But I Went For It This Day As I Thought I Might Spy A Manatee And I Did! (But pairing my excitement with my photo skills proved to be a little fumble-y ?…) Still Here’s Elaine With A Cool Bridge Character! A Northern Stargazer Out And About That’s Usually Buried In The Sand Waiting For Prey. They Can Deliver An Electric Shock!
The following two photos together are an example of what can happen photoing manatees underwater at Blue Heron Bridge. The blue water one swimming away is from our dive on Monday, July 18th. It came closer to check us out, but I opted to get Elaine’s attention to see it when I probably should have just photographed the manatee while it was close. Oh Well, I have so many manatee photos otherwise, but I’d still like to get a nice one at Blue Heron. The right photograph is what can happen when you are doing macro on scuba at the Bridge, a manatee spies you from behind unbeknownst to you (True Story!), finds your yellow fins fascinating investigating them with its snout, you don’t panic but gently turn around and this big manatee slowly saunters past! It happened to me on April 23, 2007, and I only photoed it to capture the experience! That’s what a manatee eyeing you looks like while it’s checking you out at close range under the Bridge and the lens on your Nikon d200 is a 105mm! Underwater photographers can certainly relate!!! Still, it was indeed one of my most memorable experiences at the Bridge!?
Ok! I hope you have enjoyed my recent three-day sojourn to Manatee Lagoon and diving at Blue Heron Bridge! I’m really grateful to my dive buddy Elaine for accompanying me Monday morning underwater! I promise it won’t be so long till I’m back discovering all the unusual wonders at Blue Heron Bridge! I also want to thank everyone at Manatee Lagoon! You have truly given something valuable to the community and visitors at this new Eco-Center! It helps our Florida manatees immensely! I’m so happy you like my big manatee photograph on your wall in the lobby! I’m touched every time I see photographs of smiling faces by it, bringing joy and an enhanced understanding of the manatee’s plight to thousands.
Last but not least, I’d like to thank each and every one of you who care about manatees, conservation and our environment. Together we can indeed make a positive difference and pass on something for our children to treasure. Thanks Everyone! Carol