Sunday, June 8, 2008

I snuck up on a sting ray

This is the part I like about diving----the kind of dangerous part of it, where you are so amazed about what you are seeing that you get caught up in the moment and find yourself right on top of something that maybe would not want you there. I like that adrenaline rush.

This is a southern sting ray, which is in the same family of the ray that killed Steve Irwin. That was a freak thing of course, and I do not touch things underwater (ignoring the sharks that somehow are drawn to me and waller all over me--that is them touching me, not the other way around, and that is completely different). The only reason a sting ray would normally react to a person is if you stepped on him, then he might whack you with that stinger he has on the end of his tail. Otherwise, he would stay put resting down there forever or until he got hungry.

I saw him off to the left of me, on the floor, in the Hol Chane Marine Preserve. The sandy floor and reefs are their comfort zones, and while you see them all the time, I love to see rays. I got the first shot when I got close to him, and then went to the other side of him to get the right angle when he inevitably decided I was too close and took off. The photo of him shaking that sand off is my favorite.

In any event---these might be my favorite pics of them all because I got such a clear series of them. Notice how just his eye bulges are showing--really his eyes are in there kind of deep, I could see them shifting around in those holes, but they are not at the surface of the eye holes like ours are. They are kind of wierd, now that I think of it.

He was not huge, probably about three feet across or so----that tail with the stinger on the end was every bit of five feet long though.

Underwater cameras are so limited in what they can do, unless you have a 10,000 dollar set up, so I am thrilled with these.


Holly said...

good job Paige! I like them very very much

Lorna said...

Very cool - what a neat series - even though not a 10k camera set up - great pics.. looking forward to seeing more!

Jamik said...

That is awesome! It would be so neat to be able to do this! I think I would freak out if I had to breath through an apparatus... don't think I could do it.

theCloth said...

Good shots. It's good to know something about the behavior of other creatures.

Robin Sallie said...

Wow! You are brave.

Anonymous said...

OMG those pics are beautiful and that guy is soooo sinister. I remember eons ago on a trip to Florida ( no comparison to your places ) but it was weird to walk along the beach and be SURPRISED at the sea creatures.

Wonderful----an apprreciate it soooo much.

Oh on a recent trip of mine---I would SEND you a picture of a HUGE speciman. Curious! see your email.


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