Sting Ray City

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To visit Sting Ray City we sailed around to the north side of the island, dropped anchor about 50 meters from the reef, and then began swimming to the coveted spot. The reef was more decorated with life than any other reef I’ve ever seen. There were ink fish, barracuda, turtles, fat face fish, schools of flat black fish, pencil fish, dozens of different brightly colored fish, and of course, sting rays.

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15 minutes later we were at the right spot, marked by two boats floating above. On the seafloor there was a pack of SCUBA divers sitting cross legged in a circle and holding out small portions of food. The Rays would come right up to the divers and glide over them, making contact with them as if they were polished marble. Holding my breath I joined the SCUBA divers and caught the attention of the rays. I joined their delicate dance and then almost screamed in excitement (and a little fear) as they began to glide all over me. Their dorsal sides were hard with almost spiny backbone regions. And their white underside was soft and squishy with cute little mouths that seemed to smile.

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One rather large ray climbed Gwen and then tried to sit on him like a hat. It was quite amusing. For about a half an hour we went up and down, holding our breath and playing with these wondrous sea creatures. Then it was back out into the great unknown where the horizon becomes indistinguishable in every direction.

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