Archive for June, 2011

Swimming with manatees

Posted in beach, nature, paradise with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 30/06/2011 by Walter

The manatee

The manatees are family of mermaids, marine mammals that are nearly extinguished. The name of the siren has to do with the legend of the sirens, they say, were beautiful women with  fishtail who lived in the sea. These mammals are gentle animals, which have not developed any defenses and never attack humans or other animals.

Riding on the back of a manatee. - (* Expand the photo with a click.

Bavaro, Dominican Republic.- Yaroslaw Mazur, a Polish photographer and experienced diver got the fright of his life when he was diving on the reefs near the coast, while enjoying the wonderful seascape, encountered a herd of strange animals he knew only in books, videos and documentaries: They were Manatees.

“Oh my God! It Was So exciting, I will never forget That day, That Was something amazing.”

Recreate the encounter with manatees has changed the life of this professional photographer. Mazur lives in New York, but since he watched the aquatic mammals has returned 19 times to Bavaro. He is responsible for water and awesome video footage of tourists interacting with these animals.

Mazur manages the company “Global Divers”, associated with Walter Frischbutter and his company responsible for underwater tours. The German businessman has a diving school and works with seven local resorts. Frischbutter speaks five languages.

Walter, who observed manatees for the first time in 2007, does not hide the excitement when talking about this:

“Swimming with manatees is one of the main aquatic activities that attract tourists in Bavaro. They touch these mammals with their hands, swim and play with them. Have fun under the water like children, without any malice. Tourists will scratch their belly and they fall asleep. That’s worth seeing. It is an experience that no human being can forget.

Swimming with manatees. - (* Expand the photo with a click.

The diving area is called “Butane” and is located 5 minutes from the Bavaro beach coast. There are corals, caves and grass eaten by manatees. Tourists are transported in three separate boats. If you do not have a diving license, before activity you receive a special training. The entire process is supervised by professional divers. The maximum depth where the manatees are found is twenty feet. The visit of the Mammals in this part of the coast usually occur twice a year and they stay several weeks in the area.

Walter Brandle, tourism entrepreneur, believes that the presence of manatees that interact with tourists “is the best thing what happen to Bavaro. I think we are entering a new stage of sustainable tourism in the Punta Cana/Bavaro area. We never had seen anything like that. It is simply great, exciting, an indescribable look of innocence of these mammals playing with humans in an atmosphere of harmony and cordiality. These are things that you cannot see every day.

o

>>>>> read the original story (spanish): Nadando con Manatíes

Mermaid, Siren or Manatee?

In the ocean near Hispaniola in 1493, Christopher Columbus—probably glimpsing a manatee—reported seeing three mermaids but said they were “not as pretty as they are depicted, for somehow in the face they look like men.

The mermaid La sirèn is a powerful water spirit popular in the Caribbean Islands and parts of the Americas. Like European mermaids, and the African mermaid water spirit Mami Wata, La sirèn holds a mirror to admire herself and a comb for her long, straight hair. La sirèn’s underwater world is known as “the back of the mirror,” and her mirror is a symbol of the boundary between the two worlds. Followers of La sirèn say she takes them below the water to her world, and they return with new powers. Some women become Vodou priestesses this way.

The story of La sirèn blends African and European mermaid stories with Caribbean culture. When African slaves were brought to the Caribbean, they took their stories with them. In Haiti, La sirèn is part of the Vodou tradition, and her followers appeal to her for help in Vodou ceremonies, where the mermaid’s spirit may enter the body of a female follower and bring good luck with work, health, money and love.

The mermaid La sirèn is one of three powerful female water spirits, sometimes considered sisters, who are honored in shrines like the one pictured here. One sister is cool, calm and seductive. The other is hot, passionate, angry and strong. La sirèn’s personality is a blend of these opposites. Together, they validate a wide range of temperaments for women.

o