On the Search for Manatees I wake up to the sun shining on my face and my mom shaking me to get up so we could go on the dock together. Every morning she’d wake me up to see if I’ll ever be able to see any manatees on our vacation in Bonita Springs. With my luck, I was never able to see any, and that lead to a family joke. They always made fun of me for it, because my mom had the luck of being able to see them. Then there was me, who the manatees seemed to be afraid of. “I’m going out to the dock,” my mom announced, “I bet I’ll see one as soon as I walk onto the dock. Of course, she was right. Except she didn’t see just one, she saw four.
So, I decided to walk out onto the dock just outside of the motel to join my mom. I was able to hear the tides moving the boats aside us, and see the fish swimming around the dock. Every day, one of the guys who worked at the motel would feed two birds that came every morning for their breakfast. I was so fascinated by it, that the man gave me a shrimp so I could feed one of the two birds. He told us about how the birds fly to the dock every morning for the past 15 years to be fed.
After being told about the birds, I was able to hear something swim past us. I started to freak out because I thought it was a manatee. The creature jumped up out of the water and showed us that it was a dolphin. It was still really exciting, but I’ve already seen many dolphins on our vacation in Florida. It seemed to me that dolphins were a lot nicer, since they always come by when I’m nearby. My mom decided to laugh at me because I was as happy as a dog with a new toy when I thought it was a manatee, but then became upset by the fact that it wasn’t.
This had to happen at least five times during that morning. I decided to give up on the search for manatees after being disappointed many times. Instead of looking out for them, went back inside our room in the motel and fell back asleep. What didn’t surprise me was that my mom came back an hour later, to tell me that she saw another one. I just looked at her with a are-you-serious face and shoved my face back into the pillow. When everyone woke up, I told everyone about what had happened earlier on in the morning.
After a few laughs, my cousins and I decided to go to the beach just across the street to kill some time. The water seemed to be as warm as a bathtub, which was wonderful and comforting. What made the small trip even better, was that it began to rain as soon as we got in. The only bad part was that the water had to be at least 10 times saltier than the ocean water near New Jersey, which tasted disgusting. In the water, we found living starfish and sand dollars, which was pretty interesting. I also learned then that sand dollars were actually living creatures.
When we picked up the starfish, we put them on our arms or backs, and waited until it wrapped its arms and legs around us. In addition, we kept looking at how cool the sand dollars were alive. We really enjoyed our trip to the Gulf of Mexico, because the water was a lot better and there were more interesting things to find there. Later on, we got dressed and went fishing on the dock with our dads. Of course, my mom had to come out to look out for any manatees. We stayed out all night, sharing some laughs and many family memories. We caught a bunch of fish, but my cousins and I wanted to let them all go.
But, we kept one fish that my uncle struggled to pull in. It was called a grouper, and it was only a small one. A few days later, we were told that they were kept under protection Throughout the night, my mom was searching for manatees. It was nearly midnight, and my family and I were still fishing and looking out for the sea cows. After hours of sitting out on the dock, my cousins and I were getting tired. So, we decided to see who could catch a fish first, and then we’ll be able to go inside. It took us another hour in order for one of us to catch a fish.
During that hour, there was a lot of frustration and yawning. Since we all gave up on trying to find a manatee, we began to bring in all of the plates that were once filled with food and the fishing poles. But, as soon as we started to get everything together, we heard a noise coming from the water that sounded like something was breathing. Well, to our surprise, that was the sea cow we were hoping to see. The sky around us was too dark to see near us, and the tiny lanterns on the dock didn’t help too much. “I hear one! Ahhh! This is so cool,” I whispered in excitement.
Everyone around me began to laugh at how excited I was to hear the manatee breathing in and out and swimming so close to us. It was amazing that something so wonderful was able to swim so close to us. I wasn’t the only one happy about hearing one, my cousins never saw one either. So the experience of actually hearing one was something new for all of us. Although I wasn’t able to see the manatee at night time, I was happy enough by the fact that I was able to hear it and how close it must have been to us. Now, whenever my family and I get together, we have another joke to share so that everyone laughs.
Somehow, my family finds it hilarious that my mom would be able to see one whenever she walks out onto the dock, and that I would be so unlucky that they never swam by when I was out. For the rest of our trip in Florida, I didn’t look for any manatees because I knew for a fact that I wasn’t going to find any. Instead, I focused on catching a fish, since that was another thing! struggled with. Even though I never got to see one, I was still satisfied with the sounds it made. This memory will always be something I will remember, and a time that will be brought up at every family gathering.