ee4uandme - 2/17/2009 4:13 PM
What I did:
I had a great time snorkeling with the manatees at CrystalSpring, FL on 12/23/2008. My dive buddy and I rented a boat from CrystalLodgeDiveCenter and we snorkeled with the manatees in first thing and then dove Big or Kiss Spring. We found a nice group of manatees at 3 sisters spring. I stayed in the Holiday Inn Express in Lecanto, FL.

Keys to a good time:
Find the manatees early. The earlier you get there the less people that will be there stirring up sand and ruining your photos. Visibility has to be good to make Kiss Spring a fun dive. Vis was bad when I was so the dive wasn’t very good. My dive buddy has been there when vis was great and you see all around. The cavern is at the spring is pretty small, but deep. I will say that my best manatee encounter was my surface swim to Kiss Spring. I had a very large manatee ram into me and demand my affection outside of the keep out area. Things I would do differently:
I would go through someone like AmericanProDivingCenter and plan a morning Manatee snorkel and an afternoon drift dive on the CrystalRiver. Kayak out to the manatees at first light, and or go late in the afternoon. I talked to a father and daughter that did this and they said it was great, no boat traffic in the afternoon. Unless I had confirmed reports of really good visibility, I would not rent a boat. The boat wasn’t in good shape and we had trouble starting it (john boat). Also, we had to wait for the boat place to open while other tour companies were already on the manatees. Drift dive the CrystalRiver- crystal clear water, big fish, Florida etc. You need to make arrangements with a company to take you out on the river. Send me a message if you want phone numbers or websites for any of the places