After snorkeling for twenty minutes and not seeing a manatee, I started have suspicions. Then out of nowhere a 1000 lbs manatee - the size of a large cow – appeared in front of me. I started scratching its back and it rolled over. I scratched its belly. Then it turned to look directly at me. They are very curious and seemingly playful animals. After about ten minutes of playing, it swam away.
It was the first of about ten encounters; all of them very playful.