Several years ago, we went on our first kayak outing with the kids. Andrew (then about 6 years old) was in the tandem kayak with me as we drifted alongside what looked like a big log floating in the water. Both of us were startled as the log turned and a huge manatee (dwarfing our boat) stared at us, then slowly submerged below our paddles.
Andrew, who was close enough to have touched the giant, freaked out and screamed to get out of there. I tried to explain that manatees are gentle and curious animals, but it was too much like the dinosaurs that were his passion at the time. Now concerned about sea monsters, Andrew swore he would never venture into the ocean again.
Unfortunately, we didn’t capture the moment with our cameras. But below is a short Youtube video a some paddlers here on Sanibel that did: