I am still in awe of this part of our Christmas Day dive adventure. Like I said in the last post, I'm saving the best for last, even though this was the first dive. In the picture below you see Brad, Harry and one of the boat crew doing a life jacket demonstration for us. We took along some of our yummy Christmas snacks from Expressions - seasoned pretzels with wasabi mustard dip, carmel macadamia nut popcorn with white chocolate and peppermint (yep, that's really good). The boat serves hot tea and fruit, so we were all set. Angelo is dropping down, snapping his fingers at the fish. Harry and I headed for the large coral head, and began to round the corner. This is what we saw! Yep, how awesome is that? Harry and Angelo counted 45 eagle rays before they lost count. When I rounded that corner, I was just stunned. I went down hoping to see an eagle ray or two. Wow, this was just spectacular! My jaw dropped, I had to hold my regulator in for minute or two. As we looked up over the edge, they were just everywhere. So graceful and beautiful. What amazing creatures!Yes, they came this close to us! Harry and I took turns with my camera. He got a great video. While he was shooting the video, one of the rays headed straight for him. It got within a couple feet, then made an arc around his head. On it's way by, it's tale slid along Harry's neck. Yes, I watched this whole thing happen, holding my breath, not making any sudden moves. All the divers saw it happening too. We were stunned, and had much to say about it back on the boat. Here they are on one of the exits. Too cool.
After spending some time with the eagle rays, we went down to the bottom to look around. This is Kathy.Harry playing with a sea cucumber. Brad and Kathy "hook up". After a quick swim around the bottom, we headed back up to the top of the coral head to watch the eagle rays again. They seemed to be coming even closer to us this time.
They were so close, I could look into their eyes. And they seemed to be looking back at me, too. What an incredible experience. This was definitely an unforgettable Christmas day for me. I feel so blessed to have had this experience. To the other divers along on this adventure, I have tons more photos of you all and the eagle rays, of course. Feel free to check them out on Harry's smugmug site. Go to family pics, then Kelli's pics. Feel free to post them on your own blogs, too. Especially, Brad - such a bummer about your camera flooding.
Well, thanks for sharing this grand adventure with me. I'm still smiling. Happy Holidays!!
As Christmas day approached, I admit I was feeling a little sad as I wasn't going to spend Christmas with my kids. I usually have at least one of them with me on Christmas. Not this year. But as is often the case in our lives, God has a cool plan for us, no matter how odd the circumstances. Life is definitely an adventure. In the next two posts, I'm going to share with you my 'Christmas Day on a tropical island' life adventure. I hope you enjoy it. I guess the picture below tells a big part of the story already. Yep, we did two boat dives on Christmas Day! In the picture below is Harry, Jeong Ah, and Brad D. The sun was shining and the water was a gorgeous blue. Here's Kathy checking out the horizon, with Managaha in the distance. Meet the divers of Christmas Day. Brad D. Brad and Jeong Ah. Brad D. checking out some of the wreckage. Closeup of Brad and Jeong Ah. Angelo.Kathy and Brad, checking under the wreckage. This dive was Kathy's idea, as her Christmas gift to Brad. I was so thankful we were included in the plan. Brad R.Dave.Harry. The wreck has some beautiful coral growing on it. The little black and white fish live in the coral. I like watching these long tube fish. I don't know their names. This guy kept swimming around me, but would run off when I raised my camera. This time, I finally got a good shot of him. This guy was actually quite huge. He was also camera shy. This was a spectacular dive, great visibility. We all enjoyed it very much. I'll post the other dive next. They actually happened in reverse. Ice Cream dive was first, then the shipwreck. But you know what they say about saving the best for last . . .
Sunday was just an awesome dive with Chris, Harry and TURTLES!! Here is Chris trying out Harry's new BCD. Chris and turtle. They were content to let us hang around. This turtle stopped to munch a while, then would move on to another snack site.
Aren't they just the coolest creatures?Harry thought he'd save this one a trip to the surface for air. It looks like he's considering it, huh?The underwater turtle grin. Ok, I don't think the turtle was too impressed with the bunny ears. He looks alittle miffed. Harry trying to make up to the turtle for the bunny ear incident. And finally ME ! yay - with turtles. This is just so awesome.
If you ever wonder, what are you thinking while you swim next to a turtle? Well, I'll tell you. I'm thanking God for letting me enjoy such an amazing experience. Too cute, huh? This is my photo. But Harry got a nicer one, using the flash and macro mode. Nope, you aren't seeing double, well ok, yes you are. Yep, two - fun!
Harry's great close up shot. What a truly fun and amazing dive day!