Friday, July 3, 2009

Manta Mantra

When I was bitten by a 12 foot tiger shark a few years back, the hardest part of getting back in the water was overcoming the "yips." My solution was to concentrate on looking for other large underwater creatures. When killer sharks would enter my mind, I would concentrate on looking for sea turtles. That way when a dark shape would appear, my first thought would be of turtles, not sharks (yes, I can be pretty gullible).

Big south waves are still rolling in and the water continues being murkier than I am comfortable in. Two days ago when I started imagining big sharks while swimming, I began thinking of Manta Rays. Manta, manta, manta was my mantra. Within five minutes I encountered a Manta Ray and swam with it (click HERE for photos and story).

This morning when, once again, I became uncomfortable I started thinking of Eagle Rays. Not just one, I decided, but several. Within three minutes I swam over two Spotted Eagle Rays. I don't think they liked swimming in the murky water either because when I dove down to them, they panicked and scooted away. I looked for them but could not find them in the gloom. I swam away, then noticed one of them following me. I have never seen an eagle ray behave the way this one did, it swam up, down, and all around me. I'm guessing it liked my cologne but lost interest when it finally glimpsed my face.

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