On Wednesday, we drove about an hour to the TECO (Tampa Electrical Company.) It’s a giant power plant that uses water to help start the process and when it gets released into the air as what looks like smoke, it’s really only water vapor so it’s not hurting the environment in any way. With the vapor being released, water is also released into an inner coastal bad that eventually flows into the Gulf. Even though it’s still warm in Florida at this time of the year, the water is too cold for the manatees. From November til about April, the manatees will swim into the canal where TECO sits and hang around there for the warm water that flows into the canal.
According to my aunt and uncle who have been there numerous times, there’s always a handful of manatee’s slowly moving around near the warm water spout. However, on Wednesday there were hundreds. We honestly couldn’t figure out why. Not only were there so many of them, they were staying above water longer than their usual few seconds to get air.
One of the workers at the Manatee Viewing Center told us that after a rain, they like to sit near the surface of the water and drink the fresh rain water off the top of the somewhat salty water. He called it skimming. We all assumed that the manatees just drank the water that was in whatever area of water they were swimming in. It’s interesting how much they like fresh rain water.
So, if you’re ever trying to find manatees, make sure you look for them in the warm waters after a rain.