Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Day - part two

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!!

6 comments:

Harry Blalock said...

I think that Eagle Ray was just saying Merry Christmas to me in his own unique way, and he wanted to make sure that none of the rest of you would forget this Christmas dive. It truly was an awesome dive!

KelliOnSaipan said...

Check out Angelo's great story http://jetapplicant.blogspot.com/ and Harry's amazing video http://harryblalock.blogspot.com - for more great eagle ray adventures.

Brad said...

It was great. Worse than the camera flooding, Jeong-ah was sitting on the boat seasick and missed it all.

But what a dive to remember.

Saipan Kat said...

I had a phenomenal time! As always, thank you so much for the wonderful company and the incredible photos :D

Oh the shirt was a great bonus!

The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...

I really love the photo of Harry looking at the Eagle Rays with the bubbles coming out of his regulator. Really captures how he must have felt.

Ken & Crystal Pierson said...

Wow! There are some really amazing pics of eagle rays you got! Nice! What an experience! Saipan should have been in the Micronesia issue of "Scuba Diving" magazine for sure!