Manta Manta

You never know what you may see on an ocean swim. That’s particularly true for those that spend a lot of time in the water. Susan and I took off on our swim route that has become the chosen path on our Tuesday/Thursday “trail runs”. We call it a “trail run” as we never know what we will see, water clarity, current or wind condition. We do know where we are heading but everything in between is always different.

This Thursday morning the water was clear. Two days before it was cloudy and we came upon 2 Eagle Rays feeding on the surface that no matter how close we swam, they were not disturbed. That was a heck of an experience as they swam side-by-side for minutes scooping whatever they were eating off the surface. Whatever they were feeding on must have been good as they were not giving ground to us.

On Thursday the water was very clear with great visibility. We saw all the typical reef fish darting around, a turtle and several bait balls of blue, iridescent colored, fish all the way to and from our turn around point near the Peaks buoy. On our way back, Susan usually takes off as we clear the reef and travel over a deep section of reef bottom and she did so that day, getting head of me by 20 yards or so as I was “snorkeling” behind here.

As I caught site of her near the boat, where we typically stop before heading in, I spotted a large Manta Ray laying on the sand bottom near the boat. Susan didn’t see it. I yelled at her until she came to a screeching halt and we both swam over this magnificent ray that was under us by 40’. As we followed it and eventually became positioned directly above it, the ray shot straight up and breached the water with it’s full body minus the long tail. It then folded it’s body and somehow missed us as it dove back in and disappeared into deeper water.

Needless to say, we got a birds eye view of the black and white back of this incredible sea creature and considered that a full page in the “book of life”. What a great day for a swim and even better day for a close encounter with a Manta Ray. Another great reason to get in the ocean or simply get oneself into the great outdoors!!