Manatee viewing within the Orange River and in and around the Caloosahatchee River is “typically” best between December and March. Did you know it is weather-dependent? Yes, that is true. As the Gulf of Mexico waters cool below 68 degrees Fahrenheit, the manatee will migrate to warmer waters. In Lee County, Florida, that means the spot they like to visit is the warm water outflow of the FPL plant located on the Caloosahatchee which pours into the Orange River and that’s where you will find us on the water observing these fantastic creatures!
As the water in the Gulf of Mexico warms up, the manatee will start moving out of the Orange River in search of sea grass beds because they are hungry! (They are herbivores and unfortunately, there are no sea grass beds in and around the Orange River)
We have had a very warm couple of weeks this February (2019) and because of that, the Gulf is warming up and the manatee are moving out of the Orange River in search of food. Sometimes, when it is cold for us and we’re wearing a coat and maybe cuddled up in a blanket that is being shared with us on board the River Queen, we find it less than comfortable… however, that is usually a GREAT time to watch the manatee! What a neat trade-off, cuddling in a blanket watching these gentle giants in their natural environment.
Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and we have a full boat of guests scheduled. We cannot guarantee manatee, we do guarantee you will learn a lot about the river systems, the history of the area, about the manatee and hopefully see a few since it’s going to be chilly tonight. We will certainly provide a pleasant excursion with passion-filled, knowledgeable Master Captain and First Mate. We hope you will come to “LOVE” the manatee as much as we do!
-Kathy & USCG Master Captain John
#Manatee #Weather #River Queen