With summer fast approaching the water out of the reef has warmed up and our Manatee friends have slowly made their way back to The Coral Garden at Hol Chan Marine Reserve, and we couldn’t be happier! Some of our captains had reported of a couple of random Manatee sightings a few weeks back, but within the last week these beautiful, big animals have been spotted on almost a daily bases, playing together and feeding at the end of the reef in the shallow waters.
With Manatee numbers on the decline it is such a gift to be able to observe these majestic creatures in their natural environment, and to have the opportunity to appreciate their graceful behavior while in the water with them….But having said that, because the Manatee is so endangered it is important that we do the right thing when we are snorkeling with them and make sure we are not harming them in anyway. Below are some tips to follow when swimming with Manatees:
• “Look, but don’t touch” — observe manatees from the surface of the water and at a distance
• Avoid excessive noise and splashing
• Use snorkel gear when attempting to watch manatees — the sound of scuba gear may cause them to leave the area (this won’t be an issue on Raggamuffin’s tours as we only use snorkel gear)
• Don’t feed manatees or give them water
You actually have the most to gain by remaining at a distance. By quietly observing manatees, you will get a rare opportunity to see the natural behavior of these unique animals. They will also stay in the area for a longer period of time if they are not disturbed, which works out better for everyone.
Below is an underwater video taken by Captain Patrick yesterday of two Manatees hanging out at Coral Garden, so you can have a chance to see how incredible they really are. Check it out!
So for those of you who will be embarking on one of our Full Day Sailing and Snorkeling adventures in the months to come, you have this special experience to look forward to…..one that you will never forget!!!!