You know what? The title of this story may be a little misleading. I didn’t play with Manatees in Clearwater Bay… THEY played with ME!

Those of us that have lived on the Gulf of Mexico for any amount of time, know that we don’t touch, feed, or disturb a manatee in any way, shape or form. It’s the law. But sitting quietly (engines off) on your wave runner in Clearwater Bay (along the north end of Mandalay Channel) as they approach to play with your boat, is absolutely a moment in time that you are going to want to look forward to and cherish.

The video below was shot this past weekend while my wife Christine and I were out on the water for the day. As you watch, stick with it… you may not think you’re see much… and then BAM!

The only place that you can really guarantee an encounter similar to this (without your own boat) would be at the TECO Manatee Viewing Center.

Get TECO Viewing Center info by clicking the story below…

You might also like this gallery of photos by Rich Fields…


Rich Fields is a veteran radio broadcaster who is best known for having been the Announcer on the Price is Right. He is also an Emmy Award winning Meteorologist .