Manatees by the Sea Wall: An Encounter with Manatees in Cape Canaveral


A curious juvenile manatee interacts with me behind a sea wall in Cape Canaveral, FL back in 2006.

About five years ago when I was 14, I encountered several wild manatees in Cape Canaveral,FL. My mother got us a room at a sea-side hotel that overlooked the NASA space station. We were heading our way back home from spending two months in Florida with my grandfather and his greyhound Lynne. I was told by my mother that manatees often hand around a small sea wall that was in front of back area most of the year. I wanted to check it out so, I went to the back side to see if I could get a glance of them. Indeed, it would not be long before, I encountered my first wild manatee. It was such an amazing site to see. Seconds later, I encounter a second manatee in the same spot and they just getting a good glimpse of me for over 40 minutes. They were so close to the sea wall that, I could easily touch them if I wanted to. An hour later, a third manatee came up to me from the sea wall and it felt like they were all coming up to me for some reason in I would not know about. Later that night, several other manatees were appearing all over the small lagoon while the three manatees I encountered remained by the sea wall. Most of the adult manatees that were sighted from our hotel room were mother and calf pairs. Two of the manatees that interacted with me were juveniles. Sadly, one of them had severe scars on his back and I wondered if he got hit by a boat propeller. After all, it’s very common to sight a wild manatee with scars from either boat propellers or fishing entanglements and it’s rare to see one that has no scars on it’s body. The following morning, I woke up to seeing a small colony of them swimming up to sea wall. After getting dressed for the day, I went back to back side of the hotel to interact with them and believe me, there was now two adult females and three juveniles. That interaction would last for about an hour-and-a-half hours. This encounter made me realize that manatees, like most marine mammals, are quite curious about people and may voluntary come right up to you if they want to.

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