When the weather gets cold down here (yes, it does get cold, like near freezing at night and in the upper 50s by day), the manatees come in from the gulf and find warm waters so they can survive. In the Orange River, near where it empties out into the Caloosahatchee River, Florida Power and Light empties energy and it warms up the water. It was warmer than the proverbial bath water on this day and many manatees were happy.
Manatees are gentle, but big and kind of slow moving. The group of 9 of us had wonderful moments with them while in our kayaks. I got lifted up twice by a manatee that I didn't even see approaching. Terry had a blue kayak and a couple of manatees just loved her kayak and hung out with her for a long time. She put her hand in the water and one let her pet it. One of them actually brought its mouth to the side of the kayak and it looked like it was trying to taste it! I was nearby and not left out. A manatee looked me over and then rolled over to show me its belly! The batteries in my camera decided to be used up at that moment so I can't show you but I have a distinct memory in my head!