SWIM WITH THE MANATEES
Come join Campus Recreation and Outdoor Adventures as we Swim With the Manatees January 19 - 21, Saturday –Monday (MLK holiday). These “cows of the sea” – and sources of sailors tales of mermaids - are perhaps the most gentle wild animals you will ever encounter. They must leave the cold Gulf waters in the winter months or perish. They come to the warm Florida springs in the highest concentration of manatees worldwide where they mate and raise their young. You will don a wet suit and actually be able to touch these incredible gentle giants – be careful of amorous males - and watch the curious youngsters swim up and inspect you face to face.
Day 1 – We will leave the Rec Center at midnight on Friday and drive eight hours to Homosassa Springs, Florida. We check into Nature’s Resort campground around 10 a.m. and set up camp and purchase food and supplies if needed. We will go to the Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park around 1:00 p.m. and spend 3 – 4 hours viewing Florida’s wildlife – bobcats, cougars, alligators, bears, birds of prey - in a natural setting along 1.1 miles of paved trails and boardwalk. The Fish Bowl underwater observatory allows you to see manatees and thousands of fish up close. Educational animal shows are presented throughout the day.
Then, back to camp where you may then go on some optional specially priced trips with Booby Trap Charters – a) Sit Down, Shut Up and Hold on Tour which is a backwater trip at a fast pace; b) Sunset Tour where we see a beautiful sunset over St. Martins Keys; both tours are an additional $35 per person. Or just relax in camp. Finally, you may go out for dinner or cook outside at the campground.
Day 2 – Our campground is on the Homosassa River and 15 minutes away from the highest concentration of manatees. We will rent a pontoon boat and literally have all day to spend with the manatees and boat to other areas.
Evening: back to campground and dinner in the campground or a local restaurant.
Day 3 – Drive back to Mobile and arrive around 5:00 p.m.
Cost: $75 for students and $80 for their family members; $85 for staff/faculty/alum and $90 for their family members; $100 for all others. Fee includes all camping gear, campground fees, pontoon boat; Homosassa Wildlife park fees, all transportation costs. Does not include: special charter trips, food, wet suit. You may rent a wet suit for: , mask and snorkel for : , or all items for: Eating in camp or eating out will be each individual’s choice.
How to sign up:
1- Contact Randy Hunter at (firstname.lastname@example.org).When the trip fills, we will ask that you bring in your payment (checks only, payable to “USA,” checks will not be deposited until one week before the trip.) If trip is canceled, all fees will be returned. Do not wait; this trip has filled early in past years.
Trip limit: minimum of 8.
Pre- trip meeting Tuesday, January 15, 8:00 p.m. at the Rec Center meeting room.