The best way, and in my opinion the only way, to experience ocean wildlife is by hopping into the ocean. Experiencing wildlife far removed from cages and captivities. On the animals terms. When you can share a space with the creatures while giving them all of the space they need and desire to continue to act in their natural way. When the animals can be curious and move and, if necessary, flee when they do not feel comfortable. This is how our interactions were today.
We started the morning taking the littles, Parker and Presley, out for a cruise on the boat.
While we were out we spotted some dolphins playing out in front of us. We killed our engines then sat in awe watching the pod play, we think there were about 6 dolphins. When we realized the dolphins were staying relatively in one spot Grace, Lane, and I jumped in the water. We followed the dolphins a bit, while keeping our distance as not to encroach on their space. The dolphins were curious and would breach near us. One popped his head out about 10 ft away from me. I'd be lying if I said it didn't startle me a bit. Once we lost the dolphins we hopped back in the boat. Not only were the little super stoked, but so were everyone else in the boat.
Little did we know that was not the end of out wildlife encounters for the day. While we were all lounging and playing in the pool Lisa spotted something popping up out of the water near our dock. We all ran to the dock to find a mother manatee and her calf. Both the mom and calf hung around the side of our dock for a good 20-30 min. The mom hung off to the side while the baby was a bit more social. Even after the mom decided it was time to go, they lingered out off the front of our dock, about 30 ft out, so we could watch them come up for air.
Nothing can beat seeing these creatures frolic in their natural habitats, completely free to roam and play.