Surprise in Egmont
by Paul Heathman 2, Realtor
(Maggie Valley, North Carolina)
We had a wonderful time snorkeling around the Northern Gulf side of Egmont key.
We saw many different shapes, sizes and colors of fish, we found sponges and urchins, and even a few very large purple sand dollars; the largest being over seven inches in diameter. As I lifted it out of the water to get a better look, I noticed something to my side. I gasped as I realized how big this something was. I quickly set down the magnificent sand dollar and got into snorkeling position(horizontal)so I didn't frighten this creature.
It was only a few seconds of watching the giant underwater shadow through the clear waters of egmont before the curious nose of a manatee was upon me. I became excited as it approached and nearly forgot to breathe. This was probably not the manatee's first encounter with a human, however it was my first time with a manatee.
I'm sure I was the more excited of the two of us. He came straight for me turning just to pass by me. His massive body seemed to pull me toward him as he passed, and I held up my hands as it's body brushed along my chest.
I was moved; emotionally and spiritually. The water was shallow enough to stand in and I did as it swam away. I thanked the prehistoric creature for the experience.