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“Manny” the Manatee has been in Hopetown harbor for a few weeks.  Where did he (she?) come from?  How did he get here?  No one knows.  But he’s definitely here.  He hangs around the Hopetown Inn  & Marina, eating whatever grows on the bottom of the dinghies and the marina shuttle.  When you first spot him, he looks like this:

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Ponderous and lumbering, he’ll glomp onto the bottom of a little dinghy and munch – for hours.

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Sometimes steadying himself by curving one of his little flippers around the edge of the boat, like an arm.

He’s not shy and will look you right in the eye as he comes up for air.

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Note that the nostrils are closed as he rises.

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And open briefly just before he descends again to his slow, steady munching.

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He’s actually fairly industrious, sticking to his task with remarkable focus – albeit without any sign of enthusiasm.

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I was on the marina shuttle, waiting to go to the grocery store.   Waiting because Manny’s ceaseless nibbling right by the motor’s propeller meant we couldn’t leave.  We couldn’t even start the motor.  Finally – perhaps inadvertently – Manny drifted to one side and we escaped to town.  Not sure what Manny did.

P.S.  We have a lot of original artwork in our home – all created by our children.  One of our favorites is a 4×6 painting on canvas of a – you guessed it – manatee.  Painted by our daughter.   It dominates our family room in the best of ways.

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