Saturday, April 23, 2016

Stingray Swarm

This was the most amazing sight! We were anchored at Lee Stocking Island in the Exumas (Bahamas), near the outer edge of an enormous sand bank that ran from the channel to the beach (this is on the protected bank side of the island, not the sound side). One day we dinghyed in to the beach, walked around, then headed back to the boat. Well, the water is crystal clear here, and we saw something moving under the water. We’d seen several stingrays already, but something about this was…different. Back to the boat, grab the snorkeling gear, and swim back. Dozens of huge stingrays – wider than I can spread my arms – were swimming around and atop each other, bumping into each other, you name it. They were so active, they were flapping up sand and obscuring the view sometimes, but we could see well enough. I was excited at Rudder Cut Cay to see three sting rays following one another and interacting, but this was far, far beyond that. We weren’t sure what they were doing, but feeding is a good guess. The substrate here was very hilly sand, and living in holes in the sand – when they weren’t out running around – were little portunid crabs (swimming crabs, with flattened rear legs like the blue crab). There’s always a surprise out here!

Stingray coming at ya!
At least four huge stingrays here

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