I would really, really like to thank Rosemary White, the Marketing Manager from the Plantation on Crystal River for taking time out to answer some questions for me and my readers. First a little backstory – I use LinkedIn mostly for my non-writing professional network (Facilities Management) and a little bit for my writing/editing persona. I’m grateful that one day, Rosemary popped up as a recommended connection – she is truly my favorite connections on all of LinkedIn. Her posts are always fun, engaging and interesting. She is perky, quirky and pretty; she has a cool and interesting family, and besides – who doesn’t love manatees? Reading her posts daily, I have put the Plantation on my bucket list for sure. I can see a trip to Florida in my future – fishing and manatee watching with Rosemary and the good folks at Plantation on Crystal River and maybe sneak in a day or two of fishing with my friend Darcie! Anyway, thanks again to Rosemary! ~DesertRat

1. I see photos of you fishing a lot. Do you hunt also? Did you grow up in a fishing family?

Yes I hunt as well, yes I grew up in the out of doors spending time in such places as Niagara Falls, Lake Ontario and Lake Huron

2. You’re an outdoor writer also – how did that come about?

With many years in the outdoors industry, my passion has led me to want to enlighten others on the joys, education, and conservation aspect of the outdoors. Print media was a great outlet for this.

3. For readers that have never heard of the Plantation on Crystal River – how would you describe it? What’s the “elevator speech”?

In short, it is an Outdoors Sportsman’s Paradise with a touch of landlubber mixed in.

4. Is it safe to say the manatees are the main attraction, or are they one of many? How are manatees doing, ecologically? Are their populations healthy?

Main attractions are seasonal to include manatees, scalloping, fishing, golf, etc. It is safe to say that we are known world wide as the Manatee Capital of the World but as a location and as a legal place to interact with them.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR1731.JPG

DesertRat note: According to the Christian Science Monitor, “The long push to “save the manatees” is working, and the federal government has now officially recognized it as a conservation success. The Florida manatee population was down to 1,267 in 1991 and now hovers around 6,300, a 500 percent increase, according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service”

5. Is a multi-pronged vacation possible or do you recommend more focused visits? For example if Dad wants to fish, Mom wants to golf and kids want to do kid stuff – is that all achievable in one visit?

The best thing about the Plantation on Crystal River is that there is something for everyone. With our vast array of onsite activities, you can have 5 different tastes under 1 roof.

6. I’d love to visit someday to fish saltwater AND check out the manatees. Are the manatees seasonal? Is that doable? (to do both)

Manatees are most abundant in the winter months but Kings Bay has year round resident manatees to be viewed. Crystal River is home to world class saltwater fishing and freshwater fishing is not too far away.

7. Ecotourism has gotten very popular in many parts of the world – are you seeing that?

COVID has brought to light the importance of ecotourism, and because we are everything outdoors we have survived the pandemic because of this.

8. How did Covid affect operations and business at the plantation this year?

Yes, at the onset of COVID business declined. When the realization that outdoors activities were the only safe way to vacation, business picked up thereafter.

9. So for folks who enquire about a visit – what is your “drop dead, must see/must do” recommendation?

Definitely the manatee tours, fishing and golf.

10. Following you on LinkedIn – your job looks like major fun but I’m sure it has its moments. What is the biggest challenge for you?

The biggest challenge for me is that there are not enough hours in a day to get all aspects of my job done.

11. OK – it looks like you do a LOT of fishing. What’s the fishing trip on your bucket list? What’s your favorite thing to fish currently?

My bucket list fish and trip would be to go to go to South America to catch the golden dorado. Currently, anything I catch is still better than a great day at work, LOL

You can read more about the Plantation’s accommodations here: ACCOMMODATIONS

Learn about the manatee tours here: MANATEES !

There are tons of things to do at their ADVENTURE CENTER.

Like to golf? Check out their golfing opportunities.

Yummm – world class FOOD & DRINK.

Finally – take some time to have a look at their Photo and Video galleries.

Thanks again to Rosemary White for her time – I know how crazy busy she is. And seriously, I have never been to Florida but following her on LinkedIn – I’m going to make it a point to get there! ~DesertRat