After a pancake breakfast we took the dinghy into the mangroves, looking for manatees-the gentle, slow-moving cows of the sea, a mascot of the southern cayes. I expected to see manatees by the dozen, frolicking in the shallows like cancan dancers in a Busby Berkeley spectacle. But it was a sleepy business, this manatee hunting. Elliot spotted a snout; we crawled ahead, and cut the motor. A needlefish raced across the water; a ray leapt with a flash. Ten minutes later, another snout appeared, but by the time I turned my head, it was gone. Time passed. A shadow appeared in the water, moving slowly past the skiff. Languidly, the manatee broke the surface. A bit of brown back, the blade of the tail, and it was gone.