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Scheduled Trips

Crystal River

Manatee Snorkeling

Snorkeling with the manatees can be a truly amazing experience.  But we have a few tips for you to make sure that the experience is amazing for both you and the manatees.

As you may be aware, the manatee is a protected species, and as such both Florida and the federal government have laws in place to protect them from their only true threat, man.

Please take a moment to watch the embedded video, Manatee Manners, produced by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and PADI.

Tips for Enjoying Your Day on the Water

  • Bring a wetsuit.
    • The wetsuit serves two purposes.  It provides some flotation for your snorkeling and it keeps you warm in the 72 degree water.
  • Bring a sweatshirt or windbreaker for your surface time.
    • In between locations and on the way back to the dock, it can be breezy.  And since you will have been in the cool water for an extended period of time, you will want a little exposure protection.
  • Wear Polarized sunglasses.
    • Sunglasses with polarized lenses will allow you to more easily see beneath the surface of the water, making manatee viewing from the boat easier and more enjoyable.
  • Bring a camera or underwater camera.
    • The waters of Crystal River, King's Bay, and the associated springs is very clear.  If you have an underwater camera, the photography opportunities can be stunning.  You will also likely have opportunities to take photos from the boat.
  • Bring sunscreen, even in fall/winter!
    • We'll be spending the day on the boat, and on the surface of the water snorkeling.  There is little sun protection, so make sure you take the necessary precautions to prevent sunburn from ruining your day.

More Resources:

Surface Interval's Photo Gallery of Crystal River

PDF Handout about Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge


Photos from Previous Trips:

December 2010

October 2010