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Welcome to the Springs and Manatees of Florida Snorkeling Adventure.
I hope you will consider joining us as we explore the Florida Springs!
I saw my first manatee at age eleven. I was surf fishing in a quiet lagoon with my father. I will never forget my father's startled expression as a massive, unidentifiable creature surfaced next to us in the warm Gulf waters of Florida. I have been swimming with these gentle animals nearly every winter since.
TRIP DATES: January 20th-26th, 2019
Each winter as the Gulf temperatures begin to drop, The West Indian Manatees migrate into the clear warmer springs of Florida. By January, the manatees have been in Crystal and Homosassa River for several months. Most of the population will leave the rivers for the Gulf waters by late March. January is an excellent time to visits these spring fed rivers. The weather in January can be very pleasant and there are typically plenty of manatees basking in the spring-fed water. We may experience daytime temperatures ranging from the 50's to 70's.
Our trip will also include a new destination, the Chassahowitzka River as a leisurely kayak run. During our day on the Chassahowitzka we may drift by basking alligators, river otters and a multitude of wading birds such as little blue herons, white ibis, great egrets and limpkins. We are very excited to offer a new spring-fed river to explore in our itinerary.
7-9 Women: $2100 and 10 women: $1895
Our 7 Day Adventure includes: 6 nights of lodging, van transfers in Florida, 5 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 5 dinners, 2 days of guided kayaking~snorkeling, 3 guided snorkeling tours via pontoon boat, guided hikes, all permits, interpretive slide shows and lectures, naturalist -led in water programing, and the extraordinary experience of snorkeling with a 2000 pound mammal! This price does not include air transportation, snorkeling gear or personal liquor. Farmer Jane style wetsuits are provided and full wetsuits may be rented on site if additional warmth is preferred. All meals are included with the exception of lunch on Day 3, dinner on Day 6, breakfast on our last morning or any optional stops at river side "happy hours".
There are several options for travel to Tampa International Airport (airport code TPA). Please make arrangements so that you can meet the group between 5:30pm and 6:00pm outside baggage claim on January 20th. From the San Francisco Bay area many flights arrive between 4:00pm-5:30pm, the earlier the better for our first day of travel. Our trip ends at 11:00am at the Tampa International Airport on January 26th allowing people to catch afternoon flights.
PLEASE DO NOT BOOK YOUR RETURN FLIGHTS BEFORE 1:00 PM on January 26th. We suggest that you follow our recommendations regarding the the strongly suggested trip insurance. I have found great flight deals on Kayak.com.
Blue Water guide Nellie observing a manatee
For our first five nights, we have rented a private waterfront home on a tributary of Crystal River. The location is fabulous and our comfortable Florida style home has several rooms which sleep 4-5 people as well as a few beds tucked away throughout the house. Your Blue Water Ventures staff will be cooking most meals at the house. The rental house is cozy and somewhat like a big slumber party! On our final night, we will enjoy the southern comforts of the near-by Plantation Inn where we have reserved double occupancy rooms. You may take a look at our rental house in Crystal River.
We will have WiFi connection at both the rental house and Plantation Inn
While experience in snorkeling or kayaking is not required to participate in this program, good general health is recommended. Some level of upper body conditioning is advisable to prepare for our active and adventurous trip.
Please don’t hesitate to give me a call if I can be of any other assistance.
Kim Powell, MRPA
Owner, Operator & Naturalist
Blue Water Ventures
127 Mason St., Santa Cruz, CA 95060