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Date: 22 Jun 2014 23:37:00
Title: Opunohu Bay, Moorea

17:29.241S 149:52.741W

We swam with the sting rays. Well, not just swam with them, walked with them, tripped over them, stroked them, fed them and were nuzzled by them... amazing!

The rays in Opunohu Bay are so used to tourists from the nearby collection of cabanas that they expect people to be bearing gifts and swim right up to you, lovely soft wet chamois leather noses pushing at you, fins sweeping over you, brown eyes looking at you straight in the eye. They are wonderful. Such a privilege to be up close and personal with wild creatures. However, I found it a trifle unnerving. I didn't want to feed them (Phil fed them sardines) partly because there were reef sharks around and I didn't think it wise to put food in the water when they were about, but also because they were quite intimate enough for me without offering them food. They'd sneak up behind me, then swing round and but me on the chest, making me squeak. Their sweet little noses would lift up out of the water just beneath my chin. I'd feel a soft fallumping over my feet. I was scared to move in case I trod on one and surprised it because tucked neatly along the top of the base of each whip like tail was a poisoned barb, quite capable of killing me, or at best giving me an extremely painful sting.

Bitter sweet, magical experience.

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