We’d heard about paddle boarding in waters where Manatees live and took a tour with Anik Clemens from Anik’s Perspectives. She’s lived in St. Petersburg, Florida the past 9 years and knows the SUP shops and venues for paddling. She took us to the Weeki Wachee Springs State Park where we put in for the 6 mile down-river paddle. She’d set us up with boards from the Kayak Shack that sat right on the water at end of the trip. We parked at the shack and got ferried, with our boards, to the put-in point at Weeki Wachee Springs.
The water was cool and clear. The surrounding jungle close. The river was teaming with small schools of Mullet and a smattering of Sheepshead thrown in for fun. Needlefish slipped in and out of sight while Anhinga and Kingfishers punctuated the trees.
We shared the river with a few tour boats, and some fun-loving folks who climbed a tree to a diving platform. As it turned out, Anik and our very own Donna were not afraid to take the plunge. Check out the video for a two minute look at our trip.
We’d found six Manatees by the end of the trip. The first one glided under my board like a ghost. Down river a pup scratched its back under a submerged log. My GoPro Hero 4 Silver captured most of the footage. Super Slow Mo thanks to iPhone 6S Plus.
The little one is Kyra, Anik’s lovely 4 year old daughter. Donna, Kyra, and Anik took a stab at singing Nimo’s song “Planting Seeds and Nothing More,” in front of one of the Weeki Wachee Springs mermaids.
If you like this post you’re sure to like our tour through the mangroves.