Manatees Visit Destin Beaches
Social media was all abuzz earlier this week when word started circulating about a pod of manatees cruising along the Destin gulf coast. ¬†¬†
This terrific video was shot by 23-year-old Brock Ellis of E&E Photography:
Ellis says the experience was “incredible.” ¬†He had just finished paddle boarding in the gulf and was about to leave the beach, when he turned around and spotted “a giant shadow” in the water. ¬†At first he thought it was a school of dolphins, but he didn’t see any fins. That’s when he saw a manatee come up for air. ¬†He grabbed his GoPro camera and started following the pod. ¬†“They were hard to keep up with so a co-worker came out with a kayak.” ¬†He said the manatees didn’t seem to mind their spectators: “Toward the end of the video, one of the manatees looks straight into the camera.” ¬†Ellis says in his four years working for Sandestin’s beach service, he’s never seen manatees before this pod spotting.
If you look closely in the video, one of the manatees is wearing a tag. ¬†Once the pod was spotted, the Dauphin Island Sea Lab encouraged spotters to report their sightings. According to Elizabeth Hieb of the Sea Lab, “We monitor all manatee movements in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Please officially report your manatee sighting to our Mobile Manatees Sighting Network on Facebook¬†or report online at manatee.disl.org.” ¬†At this time, manatees remain listed as endangered species.
To the left is one of my favorite photographs of the manatee event posted by¬†Rich Blasbichler of¬†the Sea Oats Motel & Management Co., located in Destin.¬† He also shot the underwater photo at the top of the page.
If the video and photographs make you want to do your own viewing of our undersea creatures, I recommend Destin Snorkel for your next adventure.¬† View Destin Water Sports under¬†activities in Destin¬†for a direct link to Destin Snorkel.¬† We can’t promise something as rare as a manatee pod sighting, but you will see a variety of beautiful undersea creatures.