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Sunday, June 24, 2012

6/23/2012 Feeding the Rays in Moorea

6/23/2012 Feeding the Rays in Moorea

Early this morning we went across the lagoon in Moorea to where the rays gather. We had read about a place where they were likely to be and some friends had suggested we go early to beat the parade of resort boats that come every day. There was only one other boat when we arrived, yea! and we could see the rays right away. The creatures are used to being fed so as soon as a boat arrives they come to investigate. I slipped into about four feet of clear blue water holding on to a baggy of tuna bits and was quickly surrounded.
The sting rays (yes sting rays!) are about three feet across and have a long rat like tail. They swim by flapping their wings one side and then they other so they look a bit like birds trying to take off. Their dark tops are smooth but sandpaperish and the white bottoms are amazingly smooth, like a wet shammie under your fingers. Smooth as a babies bum.
That the rays where happy to see us and the tuna in my hand is an understatement. They swarmed me and literally crawled up onto me trying to get the food. It was an amazing and completely unique experience. It was all sort of startling and I couldn't help but shriek as I was being smothered. Something about it got me laughing so I stood there laughing hysterically and shrieking as they nibbled away at me while everyone snapped pictures and enjoyed the show. I rubbed and petted them and laughed and laughed. Once the tuna was gone they quickly lost interest and moved on to the next person holding a bag. With their focus elsewhere I calmed down and was able to just snap some pictures and then just watch and enjoy. Can't think of a better way to start my Saturday. Kat

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