Sister Barbara Visit

My sister Barbara flew down from Maryland, thinking she would soak up some of our Florida sunshine and warmth between school semesters.  Wrong. She brought the cold with her. We picked her up at the Orlando airport on December 31.  One of the things she said she wanted to do was go to the beach so we drove immediately to Port Canaveral since we were already part way there.  We ate lunch overlooking the cruise ships.  Then we took a nice walk along the cold, windy Atlantic Ocean.  Someone offered to take our picture.

Then the weather turned colder, windier, and wetter. We mostly stayed in the house except for a couple outings to stores. Finally, as her week here was ending, the weather warmed up to the fifties.  Barbara also wanted to see a manatee.  She was in luck there.  When it is very cold in Florida, the manatees head up creeks and rivers to warmer water at the springs.  They also adore the warm water outflow from power plants.  I did a bit of research and learned that there was a herd of manatees in Blue Spring State Park.  Hundreds of other people had the same idea.  We were in line to get into the park for about an hour.  It was worth it.

Of course, living on the boat all those years, we have seen manatees many times. I don’t recall ever seeing more than ten at any one time though. There must have been hundreds of them in Blue Spring and the stream to the St. John’s River.

The manatees were milling around in the water or just hovering in one spot. I could not capture a larger scene.  All those gray things in the water are manatees and this is only a small portion of them. They were thick up and down the stream.

Of course, we had to get the picture with the manatee statue. Note, it was a warmer day but still required a parka.  In Florida.  Barbara was offended by the weather greeting she got.

Here are a couple closer shots of manatee families in the spring.

Well, I am guessing they were families anyway.

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