One nasty but necessary weekly chore that we have aboard Tango is to motor over to the pump out station in our marina and vacuum out our holding tank. We’ve gotten pretty good at checking this task off our list rather quickly over the years but it is still something that we tend to hold off to the last minute. Today was the day that we finally decided to fire up the engines and complete our stinky mission. As Robin released the bow line and was working on the stern line I gently eased Tango into reverse to compensate for the 10 knot wind coming at us from behind. As I was getting ready to turn around to help Robin aboard I heard her excitedly proclaim “Manatees! There are manatees behind us!” Knowing that one of the main causes of injury and death to these peaceful giants is being sliced up by boat propellers. I immediately dropped into neutral and we retied our lines. For the next half hour or so we were all treated to a close up encounter as they cleaned some of the algae and grasses off of our hull. It is illegal to approach manatees and/or to play with them so guess I am technically a felon now. I normally wouldn’t touch one but they came to me and they were just so close that I just couldn’t help it. The girls were shocked by their stinky breath and the fact that they appeared to be farting and leaving a trail of bubbles from their nether regions.