Manatee Springs State Park–Sunday–December 30,2013

Yesterday we had a nice easy drive from Walkabout Campground in Woodbine, Georgia to Manatee Springs SP in Chiefland, Florida. 
Other than the heavy traffic and strong winds on I-95… once we turned off on 301, the 150 mile trip was a no headache trip:o)  When we arrived at our campsite, Nancy parked the car and got behind the Motorhome.  As is our normal custom, she guides me into the site with hand signals.  We have been using this method for years – she points and I follow.  Within seconds we had put Baby exactly where we wanted her. 

Our neighbors, one in a motorhome and one in a pop-up came over and told Nancy that she’s going to give all the other wives a bad reputation.  What??  Huh??  It turns out they were actually impressed that we backed up and parked the motorhome without saying a word.  Just using hand signals—no frantic yelling, screaming, obscenities or arguments.  I really think they were disappointed there was no RV entertainment to watch;o))

It was already late afternoon when we got set up.  We headed over to check out the Springs and see if there were any Manatees. 
 
 

We walked the boardwalk and didn’t find any.  But when we walked around the other side of the spring, we saw one. 
 
Maybe tomorrow we’ll see more.

Sunday, December 30 - Today, we went geocaching and hiked one of the easy hikes.  We waited until after lunch when the temperature finally moved out of the 30’s and reach the mid 50’s. 
 
First, we found the geocache near Catfish Hole. 
 
Inside was a travel bug.  We didn't move it.
We'll let the next cacher do that.  
But we may look it up and see where it has been;o)) 

Catfish Hole is the spot where certified Cave Divers can enter the underground waterways that feed the spring.  They actually spend hours exploring these waterways!!

 
Divers entering Catfish Hole

Preparing to Dive

They're Gone!!
 
 
After that,
we walked The Sink Hole Trail to find the second geocache. 

Never found this Cache;o((
 
BUT... 
we must have seen 15 or more deer.




 
 












They were everywhere!!


Following the hike, we walked out the boardwalk again.
 

This time we saw several Manatee.  Well actually, you don’t see much more than their snout when they surface to breath. 
 








 
But it is so cool to hear them breath and see the shadow of their bodies. 
They are so large!!
(click to enlarge any photo)

We also saw Vultures, Belted Kingfishers, a couple wading birds and the turtle line;o))

 
 
The red faced Vultures are Turkey Vultures,.
The others are Black Vultures

This Turkey Vulture wasn't thrilled to have his photo taken;o))
 
 
A Juvenile White Ibis caught its dinner and then down the hatch!!

 
 
Two Belted Kingfishers were having a turf war!!
 
 
Of course, no sunny day near the water would be complete without
"The Turtle Line":o))
 

We are only here for a couple of nights so we’ll have to come back another time (when it’s warmer) to do some kayaking and cycling. 
 
We did buy our annual Florida State Park Pass.  Now that we are Floridians, we plan to really use it in the next few months!!!

16 comments:

  1. Bryce says you get much better pictures than I do . . . and yet he has no patience when I try to get good pictures!! lol! Looks like a nice park . . . was it pretty easy to maneuver around in? We're looking at places to stop as we work our way north in March.

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    1. Tell Bryce I take over 200 pictures in an afternoon...just to get a few good one;o))

      The campground loops are a little tight. Be sure to check the site lengths. Not to many for rigs over 35ft. We just had someone recommend Ross Prairre State Park...something about wild horses. We haven't been there, but we have been to Silver River and Rainbow Springs. Both are big rig friendly and have great kayaking. Silver River rents kayaks and has some nice hikes with several Geocaches.

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  2. Love Manatee Springs! So glad you got to see the manatee. Have they closed the kayak ramp because of them?? It was a great place to kayak. We did our own full moon paddle on the river.

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    1. Kayak ramp is closed through March, but the divers and swimmers are still in the spring. There were so many, it was rather annoying;o((

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  3. When we park the RV we also do not open our mouths. I stand at the back and just use hand signals. Of course sometimes the hand signals do get a little frantic if I think that DH is not getting the message. He keeps reminding me that what I am telling him he sees in reverse. So I guess I should be a little more patient. LOL! Loved your photos.

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  4. When we worked in Chalk Creek, it was a requirement that the guests were escorted to their sites, and this was one of Al's jobs. He quite often helped them get situated in their sites, and we always had a good chuckle when the wives would thank him and say he probably saved their marriage :-). See you soon.

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  5. Now that you are on the move I will look forward to all your travels and photos. Sherry also does a great job getting me into sites without having to say anything. I guess practice and faith in your partner is the secret.

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  6. We have a system too, and so far it's working great. Hand signals work, and he can hear me in the back-up camera too. Our job now is to escort people to their sites and they love it too when we help :)

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  7. You two have been best friends for so long, you communicate by ESP, who needs words? Bet you finish each other's sentences, too.

    Diving in all that pea soup? Not for me. Yuk!

    What do you mean it's cold in Florida? Do we need to change our plans to head there and go further south, like to Panama? ;c)

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    1. Just a temporary blip in the radar...we hope;o)) Come on down!!!!

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  8. We camped at Manatee Springs over presidents day one year.
    It was so cold our water froze. We had to wrap the dogs in blankets by the fire to keep them warm.

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  9. We also communicate with just hand signals and it works well. Practice makes perfect :)

    Happy New Year!

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  10. HAPPY NEW YEAR! Welcome to Florida. I hope you can make the Tampa RV show. We're going to have a group of RV'ers that are in Florida meet at the hospitality tent at 11:30 on the 17th. They have a coupon on their site. http://www.frvta.org/rv-shows/florida-rv-supershow/

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  11. Manatee Springs is a favorite, even though I have yet to get my rig there. Alway take the trip ther from Ocala when I visit my friend. Your photos remind me of how much I am hoping for a floridamwinter next year.

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  12. Judy and I were camp host at Manatee Springs SP back in Oct. and Nov. (Magnolia loop 2)and had a very nice time there. Hope your stay is enjoyable and glad you got to see some manatee.

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