A Humorous Look at Florida Manatee Zones
I have NOT stopped laughing since I first read this article!!! Many, many thanks to Captain Ames for allowing us to use his words and photos. They will bring smiles, possibly outright guffaws, to anyone who has ever cruised in the Sunshine State!!!
THE SOCIALIZATION OF MANATEES
by Captain Allen S. Ames
SIGN READS: MANATEE ZONE – SLOW SPEED – MINIMUM WAKE WITHIN 300 FEET OF SHORE
Once you get into South Florida, there are all kinds of “Manatee Zones”, restricting boat movement in one way or another. In truth, boats with their propellers can be fatal to the once-endangered manatees, but the reality is a bit more political, methinks.
SIGN READS: MANATEE ZONE – 25 MPH OCT 1-MAY 31, 30 MPH JUN 1-SEP 30
Note that the “Summer Manatees” must be more agile than the winter ones, since they apparently can avoid boats going 5 MPH faster. Note also that few people live in their winter “cottages” along the shore in summer.
We have noticed in the past that manatees are upwardly mobile socially and tend to hang out off the very expensive mega-mansions and condos of the super-rich. There are far more manatee speed restrictions in these areas than off trailer parks and undeveloped land. (I refuse to believe that politics or payoffs would have had anything to do with these designations for the betterment of these lovely Rubenesque mammals.)
SIGN READS: MANATEE ZONE – SLOW SPEED MINIMUM WAKE – WEEKENDS 7AM-7PM, NOV 15 THRU MAR 31 – 25 MPH ALL OTHER TIMES
As upwardly mobile as these animals may be, there are still some areas where they can only afford to go on winter weekends. I haven’t yet read the research that shows how they learned to read calendars and clocks, but I am delighted that some government grant or other was able to furnish them the opportunity.
SIGN READS: BOATING SAFETY ZONE – SLOW SPEED MINIMUM WAKE UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
Some new signs are beginning to show up that weren’t in evidence two years ago. Do they signify a little less corruption in government and government-appointed employees or the simple fact that scientific research has shown that manatees are no longer endangered and that they better find another way to restrict the speed of boats off rich people’s winter homes? Next year, we expect that all the manatee signs will be replaced with ones that read:
FILTHY RICH PEOPLE HABITAT – ANYONE THROWING A WAKE OF ANY SORT WILL BE SHOT
I am not making this up! There are photographs of all the above signs in my
Flagler County, Fl. is in the process of trying to make the entire ICW within their county a no-wake zone for the same issue’¦hope it fails!
Abolutley priceless! Thanks so much.