Monday, August 30, 2010

Kayaking & Mermaid Show at Weeki Wachee - Spring Hill, FL

A few friends of mine were planning a trip to go kayaking at Weeki Wachee and invited me to come along.  I left the house around 7:30 am so that I could make the hour and a half trip (without rushing) to Weeki Wachee so that we could be on the river by 10 am.  We had made reservations ahead of time so the check in process was really easy.  The 7 mile float would take about 3 - 4 hours and then they would shuttle us back to the cars, which made us extremely happy because the thought of fighting the 5 mph current back was not something that I wanted to do.  I took with me a cooler of water and gatorade and we packed a few snacks and we were off.  The first thing that I noticed was just how clear the water was.  You were able to easily see the bottom of the river and there were schools of fish everywhere.  The current was pretty steady and there wasn't much paddling to do except when you got to the curves in the river.  The river seemed to be pretty windy and allowed for much shade and plenty of places for the animals to hide.  The majority of the river was about 4 to 5 foot deep but there were plenty of spots that it would drop off to 15 to 20 feet easily.  There were many people out on the river that day so we didn't see as much wildlife as I had hoped, but we did see a lot people taking advantage of the rope swings that seemed to pop out of nowhere.  Going along one section of the river there were houses that butted right up and I was surprised at how many had slides attached to their docks so that you could climb up and slide on in.  During the ending of our trip we spotted a dolphin who seemed to be lost.  The prices for kayaking were $30/single - $35/tandem - $35/canoe.  The shuttle times back to the park were 12:00, 1:00, 2:00 & 3:00.  You are allowed to bring your own as well.

showing how clear the water was

one of the houses along the riverblue heronmister dolphin

Once we were done with kayaking we headed over the state park for the Mermaid show.  Apparently the mermaid shows have been going on right there for over 60 years and they do the show in the actual aquifer while the audience sits below the ground.  I also found out that more than 198 million gallons of water flow from the Weeki Wachee spring daily.  The price into the park was $13/adults & $5/children.  If you also want to go to Bucaneer Bay Water Park the price is $26/adult (includes the park) & $12/children.

The show that we went to was called Fish Tails and it was a behind the scenes look at how the mermaids operate.  Apparently in order to first call yourself a mermaid you must pass a test.  The girls must swim down 117 ft (approx height of a 12 story building) with the air tubes that they use.  Once down there they tug on the tube twice and the diver above pulls the air hose up.  The mermaid must now stay there for at least one minute and then swim back to the top with only the air in her lungs.  The girl that demonstrated for us held her breath for over 2 minutes.  I don't think I could last even a minute down there.  We also learned that so they are not seen by the viewers they enter the aquifer from a 60 foot tube that runs under the viewing area.  The show was interesting and watching the girls take breaths from the hose underwater was quite impressive.

After the show we decided to take the Wildlife boat cruise.  It was about a 15 minute cruise that took you down the Weeki Wachee river and explained a little about the park, the mermaid show and the wildlife you may see. 

One of the things the guide pointed out was a huge Bald Eagle Nest that was built 3 years ago.  Apparently the Eagles have had no less than 2 eaglets a year for the past few years.

I had a great time and would definitely recommend taking a few hours out of your day and experiencing the springs of Weeki Wachee.

To get more information or reservations -

No comments:

Post a Comment