Have you ever wanted to hold a giant silky soft fish?
It goes against my training as a diver, “Observe, DO NOT Disturb”.
I knew it was wrong and just like my recent rebellious photography at St George’s church, I loved it anyway.
I do seem to be breaking the rules more in my old age.
What’s worse for divers than touching a wild animal?
Feeding it!! (We did that too).
Southern stingrays LOVE squid. They adore it. They love it so much they will let two people hold them as long as they are in company with the squid bringers.
They love it so much they use a professional vacuum amount of force to suck it out of your hand.
I’ve never experienced anything quite like it.
Would you hold a squid under a vacuum cleaner if it was wild and free?
And in the 50 or 60 dives I’ve done over the years, I’ve only seen one southern stingray and a few spotted eagle rays. Well, once I saw a school a devil rays and there were about 25 of them but I was snorkeling and I didn’t get to touch or feed them…
Today I saw, felt, touched or fed about 20. And I need you to understand the ones we got pictures with were the SMALL ones.
They rubbed on my legs in greeting like a cat waiting for a can of tuna.
The biggest one even hip checked me, perhaps because he could. Perhaps because he had a bit of a pre-squid feeding frenzy.
I was giddy for hours after. In fact, I still feel a little in awe.
Move over monkeys, I have a new animal for the top 5….
P.S. We only had 10 people with us because we asked our hotel owner to book us any day, any time, when the cruise ship people would not be there. I’ve heard they take up to 200 people. That would not be enjoyable. I preferred our 2/1 stingray to people ratio.