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The other day my mom and the boys were at our home church while my dad and I stayed here at the house. We had some dinner and then decided to go paddle boarding in the bayou. We walked down to the bayou with the boards and jumped on. I stood up, got comfortable, and started paddling. As we approached the end of our bayou, I started telling Dad about the time Hudson and I were fishing in the bayou in the early morning when we saw a couple of manatees. I continued to go into more detail, and my dad said how much he would like to see some one day. Then I spotted something off in the distance—it looked like a couple of floating logs, but as we approached them Dad said, “Asher, look over there!”
Manatees! Sure enough there was a pod of about six manatees! I was thinking, “Man, what a coincidence—we were just talking about them!” This particular spot was super shallow, just about six-feet deep so you could see them lying on the bottom. One thing I thought was cool was their noses. They were made so perfectly to just barely stick above the water, and like a whale they shoot out misty water. “Poof,” then they take a breath and go back under. They were so amazing, and some of them were nine-feet long. As cool as it was to see these amazing creatures, it was really sad because several of them had big slice marks on them from lying right under the water where boats can’t always see them. It is easy for the boats to fly right over them and cut them with their propellers.
My dad and I were paddling and looking down in the water when I heard, “Poof!” right behind me. I looked over and saw a little manatee looking at the fins on the back of the paddleboard. I was amazed by how friendly it was. Dad and I turned around and sat on the boards to get closer to it. The manatee came right up to the side of the boards and looked at us, so I scratched him on the head. He seemed to really be enjoying himself. I couldn’t get over the fact that we were petting a manatee out in the wild and that he was so tame!
His skin was like chubby sandpaper. I named him Nugget—even though he was pretty small, he was still about six feet and weighed probably 400 pounds. Their tails were like huge paddles that could easily propel them in the water. Their body’s were like huge, chubby sausages.
We hung out with them for about half an hour then went around the curve in the bayou and headed for home. My dad and I were so thankful that God let us see an amazing part of His creation. Well one things for sure—I’ll never forget that experience for the rest of my days!
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