For years I have swum up spring runs, burdened with immense amounts of gear, in search of a hole in the ground to explore limestone covered in clay, sand and mung. Today however, these spring runs were forged with only snorkel gear; exploring the same scenery, but searching for something much more majestic... manatee.
Never having experienced manatee outside of images, I could not have imagined their size or grace, nor their incredible curiosity and friendliness. They appeared to seek out the gentle diver, those aspiring to join them in their environment rather than merely spectating.
I witnessed their instant curiosity to Amanda's dome port, coming within inches; looking with their left eye, then their right, then straight on again, apparently joyous to finally have a mirror.
Their interaction with Felix? That was virtually indescribable; his breath holding ability allowing them to welcome him as a peer. It was an unimaginable joy to watch as they bumped and nuzzled, rolled on their backs for a good belly scratch; directing his hands where they wanted them to be and holding him in place when they weren't quite done yet... all the while smiling in the sheer pleasure. Smiles that we had no choice but to return in kind!