At the time, it was summer, so while it is possible to swim with the full time residents of the Crystal River springs, it was not the best time for me to go. There are fewer manatees, they tend to be in deeper, murkier water and I was living in Amsterdam. All of these factors made me postpone this activity that was now in the top five of my must-do's, although to be fair, it was the third factor that held the most sway.
Then winter came about. This is the time that hundreds of gentle sea cows wisely choose to pack up and get out of the cold waters of the the Gulf of Mexico. These aquatic snowbirds flock to the spring fed King's Bay, which remains 72 degrees year round.