Yes, this is a picture of the front of our canoe with an alligator just ahead of us. "Keep paddling" Stijn says with an anxious yet firm tone.
Now we head into an area that is going to take us through a loop and here we see more alligators, turtles and birds. We pass a house boat and wave to the people on board. They inform us that there are a couple of manatees in the area and that we should keep an eye out and maybe we would see one. They also pointed out that there is a "Huge" alligator just ahead of us crossing the water. Cool! After paddling a little further down we can hear the people on the house boat telling us that there is a manatee about 40 yards behind our canoe and he is coming straight towards us. We turn to take a look and we could see the wake of the manatee coming straight in our direction. As he approached our canoe he circled around us and we could see him just below the surface of the water. Magnificent! Then he stopped just behind Stijn, lifted his head out of the water, took a look at us and then re-submerged and swam away. This was the most amazing thing I have ever seen!
Satisfied with all we were able to see, we decide it's time to head back and turn in our canoe. Afterwards we take a little walk over to see the Thursby house which was built in 1872 by Louis Thursby and is a nice little museum that is free with some history on the area along with some artifacts.
This has been an amazing day and I will never forget the experience and the feelings I felt when I saw my first manatee.
If you would like to see more pictures of our day please go to Where's Debbie and click on the album "Blue Spring State Park"