Sunday, August 08, 2004

Florida Day 5

We got up at 3:30 a.m.! Based on our decision to stay Saturday night in St. Petersburg. We were faced with an 1 hour and 40 minute drive to Homosassa Springs to go snorkling with the manatees. We had made a reservation with Captain Mike's to go snorkling with the manatees a couple of months ago and had already paid our money. We needed to be there at 6:00 a.m.

Although it was a little bit of a struggle to get going in the morning, we had a great time. The tour company took 17 people out on a houseboat and within about 15 minutes we were in a small bay that probably had a dozen different manatees feeding in it. Jack and I got in the water and I towed him over so he could see them under the water and scratch them. After a while Sharon took Jack and I followed a group of five them away from the boat. It was pretty cool to snorkling along by myself with a group of 2,000 pound animals. They were heading around the bend away from the boats so I eventually started back towards Sharon and Jack. We got Jack back on the houseboat. Sharon and I spent some time with a group that was following a pair. Sharon got cold and headed back to the boat, while I drifted along following one. Occasionally, the manatee would roll over on its back so that people could scratch its underside. In total, I probably spent almost an hour and a half in the water. I purchased a waterproof camera and took a roll of film. I will probably try to get it developed when we get to Key West.

Afterwards, we had breakfast at a local bar and grill and then started back to St. Petersburg. We were back at the hotel by about 11:45 a.m. We crashed in the room for about an hour and a half.

In the mid-afternoon, we took off to the St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts. The museum was smaller than either of us expected. Sharon liked Sea of Grass-Sunset by Jimmy Ernst, Poppy by Georgia O'Keeffe and Brittany Girl Fishing by Daniel Ridgway Knight.

Leaving the museum, we walked out on the St. Petersburg Pier. Although architecturally interesting with a nice view of the area from the fifth floor, neither of us were impressed.

We went to St. Pete's Beach for dinner at Sea Critters Cafe, Food & Bar. We had originally intended to go to another place, but the hotel said the food was better at Sea Critters. Neither Sharon or I were impressed with the food or the drinks; I think we are going to have a hard time topping the meals from the first two nights. Nevertheless, Jack had fun feeding his table scraps to the catfish!

After dinner, we walked along the beach. Given our 3:30 a.m. start, we were all in bed and asleep before 9:00 p.m.

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