Last year I had one of the best experience’s of my life when we went swimming with the Manatees at Crystal River. We decided to go with Capt Mike’s Sunshine River Tours as we liked the look of his web site and had read a guest book in a villa we stayed in that said how good it was. The tour started at 7am so we left Orlando about 5am as it’s about a 2 hours drive to Homosassa and Crystal River, probably 90mins if you know where you are going but you are bound to get a little lost a 5 in the morning.
Once you arrive you are greeted with coffee and doughnuts while you watch a short video explaining the do’s and don’t of swimming with the Manatee, after that you get suited and booted in your wet suit and then it’s on to the bus which takes you to the boat and off to swim with the Manatees. If you do have your own web suit or rash vests I would recommend taking them as the water is cold around 70 degrees.
If you don’t want to swim you can still go along and watch them from the boat which is still worth doing.
They are the most amazing animals I have ever seen so big yet so gentle, once you are in the water and before you even see them you can hear them scrunching on the weed, then they appear. If you do get to touch one it has very wiry hair like a brush.
Anyway I don’t want to spoil it for you but it’s the best $50 you will ever spend!!