If you rent a canoe or a kayak, do we still have an opportunity to swim with the manatee?
Yes but April -May is a better time
You are on your own once you leave the launch area. If you see manatee, you can do what you wish. You can get a close as you want, on the rentals or in the water. I'd ask the launch team about any rules around this before paddling off.
We are coming in mid September! See you then. My daughter and I are so excited!
In the winter time, yes you are virtually guaranteed to see a manatee because there are hundreds of manatees in King's Bay congregating near the springs. In the summertime, you will see a manatee more often than not but there is no guarantee because approximately 25 - 50 manatees remain in King's Bay but they are scattered about so you have to find them.
In the summer months, most of the manatees migrate to better feeding grounds in the Gulf of Mexico and those that remain in King's Bay are dispersed from the springs making them harder to find. However, in the warm weather months, there are still approximately 25 - 50 manatees including some mother-calf pairings that remain in King's Bay providing at least a 50% chance or better of a manatee encounter with no guarantee. After the first cold front arrives usually around October/November, the King’s Bay manatee population increases dramatically into the hundreds congregating near the springs virtually guaranteeing an encounter through March/April.
We provide local knowledge of where manatee sightings are most likely to occur increasing your chances of a manatee encounter. Also, the longer you are out on the water and the more area you are able to cover, the better the chances of a manatee encounter. Therefore, a 4 hour rental helps your chances of seeing a manatee compared to a 2 hour rental. Lastly and importantly, the beautiful and pristine Three Sisters Springs is open for paddling and snorkeling from April 1 to November 14 but only for snorkeling from November 15 to March 31. A visit to Three Sisters Springs will make your day on the water wonderful and worthwhile by itself.
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