Clumps of fish netting lie drying on this wooden dock in Cherokee Sound, Abaco. Minus the culling of seagulls flying above and fish splashing below, this is a quiet spot in the Bahamas. Quiet until my celebrity of the most unusual kind bubbles up to the surface.
It hugged the side of the dock in a half circular fashion. The motionless thing I stared at looked like an over-sized tire. While trying to figure it out, the tire-thing moved. I jumped and shrieked loudly, 'What the hell is that?'
Ceddie, a Cherokee Sound denizen, sat on the upper dock smiling. He nonchalantly said, "Oh, that's Georgie. She's our resident Manatee."
Manatee? Living mostly in The Bahamas, I'm accustomed to seeing marine life: stingrays, turtles, bright red and orange starfish; dolphins, plus plenty of fish. Georgie, however, is my first manatee.
Ceddie gave me the scoop about Georgie: Born in Spanish Wells, Bahamas, Georgie swam 48 miles with her mom, Rita to Nassau where they were rescued, cared for, armed with tracking devices and released. Afterwards, Georgie began traveling solo. 200 miles later, she turned up in the quaint settlement of Cherokee Sound.
|Ceddie feeding Georgie hosed water|
Similar to lost dogs who find their way back home, Georgie crossed the ocean and returned to Cherokee Sound, Abaco where she again receives nourishment and adoration. The convenience food store in Cherokee even displays a sign announcing Georgie's return and asks all boaters to dock with care to prevent injury of their resident celebrity.
|Feeding Georgie lettuce|
|Courtesy of Bahamas Marine Mammal Research Organization|
Have an unusual celebrity? I'd love to read about it.