Sunday, February 26, 2017

Close Encounters

Randy the manatee is still living in the harbor. He has become so accustomed to people and boats that it is becoming dangerous to him. People have enticed him to their water hoses to drink, which encourages him to stay around. One day we noticed that the water hose here at the marina was dripping and Randy was upside down drinking. We shut it off, but Paul from the fuel dock said he had to do it because Randy had been out front trying to drink the water coming out of customers' outboard motors. The manatee just hears the splashing of water and doesn't realize that it's probably saltwater cooling the engines until he first drinks it, but meanwhile the engines are running. Scary.

Randy also like hanging out at the haul-out area in the back pond. He probably hears the water running off the seawall when the workers are pressure washing and cleaning boats. Dave was cleaning Walkabout one day and yup, there's Randy. Luckily when he was in the water yesterday cleaning the bottom of our skiff, Randy didn't sidle up to him. He's been known to do that and several people have gone in the water to swim with him. They say he is gentle, but he has tried to mate with rubber dinghies and was even brushing up against Jim's kayak in the pond the other day. Everyone must remember that he can hold his breath longer than they can if he ends up holding you under! In Catherine's photo below you can see how he has been brushing up against all the boats with bottom paint. I think it's time Randy found a girlfriend!

The scariest thing is that most of us that are here for the winter keep a good look out for him, but there are so many charterers and small boat renters that are oblivious to what is going on. Who would ever expect to see a manatee in the Bahamas? I sure hope he remains healthy and unhurt.

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