There are signs around the marina warning about Manatee’s in the area and how to go dead slow to keep them safe. Well we were here for several months and even though we had driven to the south edge of Tampa Bay to see Manatees where they congregate in the warm outflow of a energy plant, we never saw any, anywhere else. Of course they would make the local evening news like when a group of them got stranded in a fresh water lake near the coast after Debbie when the Gulf waters receded. Then there was a bit of local hysteria when a tourist woman over on the beach at Ft. DeSoto was seen swimming on the back of a Manatee and several people video tapped her and turned it over to the news stations and the Police. The Police soon found out who it was and she got a big fine. Where we are from it is Don’t Mess With Texas, but here it is Don’t Mess with our Manatee’s! It’s ok to mess with there Burmese pythons; in fact you can take them home. And I don’t think they care if you mess with the Gators either, You could probably take a pick load home if you wanted.
|This is where she fell in|
|I was pulling all 300' of anchor chain out here on the dock when I saw a mom and pup manatee|
|Had to get all the stuff out of the locker, Crawl in, disconnect the chain from the strong point and replace the connection with a 3/4" line long enough so I could cut it free if I had to.|
It was time for me to clean out the anchor locker and make sure our two anchors were ready to go again. I recently read an account of a West Coast Sailor who had to cut loose his anchor rode fast to save his boat. He had all chain rode but he was smart enough to have connected the bitter end of the chain with a piece of line to the strong point in his anchor locker so all he had to do to get free of his anchor in increasing dangerous conditions was to cut the line and just dump his anchor and rode. He was again smart enough to connect a fender to the chain so he could come back later and retrieve his anchor and rode. This left enough of an impression on me that I wanted to modify my chain to do the same thing as my chain was connected to the strong point in the anchor locker and It would be very difficult to get free of the anchor if a situation developed that conditions were bad and it would be dangerous or impossible to retrieve all the chain and anchor. See the story at:
I took the time to take out all the chain and line, remark it at intervals making it easy to know how much you have out when anchoring. I ran the wash down pump, and the windless to make sure everything was good to go.
The very next morning I popped out of the boat and there they were again. This time they stayed right there for over 30 minutes just floating near the bow of the boat. Here are just a few of the pics I took:
|This 60' Azimut was all white before we left for Austin.|