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Date: 22 Jun 2014 23:39:46
Title: Catch Up Pics - String Rays in Moorea

Approaching Moorea from the North.


The sting rays were all over the place, one saw them most times we were snorkelling, and even saw them jumping from time to time, but there were hundreds of them near this 'hotel' just along the lagoon from Baie d'Opunohu. There's a sand bank so you can stand chest deep in the water and have them all around you.

  

The rays have been fed so many times that they come and beg for sardines, butting up against you, slithering up your legs, coming nose to nose with you on the surface of the water.

Phil's new 'ray' skirt. Notice the sharks in the background...

  
The ray whisperer at work: "Here happy little sting ray, come and get your sardines!"


They were happy for us to stroke them - our hands left darker patches on their skin. You can see one making a fuss of Phil, and he of her, in this movie clip:


and here's a clip that shows one trying to eat a piece of sardine that was dropped on top of her... tricky when your mouth is underneath you!


See the Sting Ray's barb about a third of the way along the tail? It lies flat there but they flick it up if threatened.

There were plenty of sharks around, just little black tip reef sharks (how cool are we? Just little black tip sharks we say now!!). They seemed to get on fine with the rays. I was worried that we'd be trying to feed a ray and: snap! A shark would suddenly be there getting his share, but they hung back and circled around us.


All the busyness was just too much for this ray, sardines or no sardines, he needed some time out.

Just ignore me, I'm not here at all just now...




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