09 November 2009

An Eventful Snorkel

It's been a while since I've written about any particular dive or snorkel. This is mainly because it's really difficult to put into writing some of the spectacular things we see here, but also because it can be a little repetitive reading about every Eagle Ray, Shark, or Turtle we see. But today's snorkel at the South End of Long Cay is noteworthy. Unfortunately, it was the first time in a long time that didn't bring our camera!

In the span of about 45 minutes, I saw five Eagle Rays, two Nurse Sharks, a Reef Shark, and four Sea Turtles (one huge Green, two female Hawksbills, and a giant male Hawkbill). At one point the big male Hawksbill was swimming just over and in between two of Eagle Rays and in front of a Reef Shark. Seeing any one of them would have been worth watching, but seeing all four in an area that could have been framed in a single photograph was something else. The bigger of the female Hawksbills had a pretty severe injury - it was missing a back flipper and had a volleyball-sized piece of shell missing. I'm not sure how it survived such a serious injury, but it seemed to be fine. The Eagle Rays were rather unconcerned by us. I swam down towards two of the smaller ones and they didn't really seem to care. I got so close I could have reached out and touched one of them on the tail. I didn't though. This description really does no justice to what it was like to see all these things all together, especially without any pictures!

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