Crazy for Rays (and more water photos)

Because we’ve been in the Keys for so long and have everything we own unpacked and strewn around our campsite, we have much to do to prep for leaving in three days. Tracy called yesterday his last day kayaking, but I can’t quit my hunt for rays.

Here we were yesterday afternoon kayaking over to Bahia Honda. The conditions weren’t great with a bit of wind and no visibility in the area we’d hoped to see tropical fish. But look what we spotted on the way back to our Key.

Tracy kept his kayak still over on my left, and I approached slowly on its right.

Its tail is so long that I swear it seems like a rope, but I think the coils are actually light displacement through the water. That’s a thing, right? In any case, this guy is huge.

As soon as I got close though, it realized its predicament and reacted. Both wings flew into the air and smacked down on the water making a cracking sound, and then it zoomed away faster than we could follow with our eyes.

So that was the largest ray I’ve seen here, and it may have been an eagle ray; I know I saw those under the bridge, although my photos of them aren’t great. Here’s one I grabbed off Wikipedia so you can imagine what I could see, just not capture with my phone because I was so busy freaking out.

I’ve also seen large brown rays, pale ones, and small brown skates. A brown skate swam under my kayak while I was photographing the big ray up top.


The most amazing one I’ve seen leapt out of the water. It looked like a dolphin in that its jump was an arch, but I saw that entire flat beauty and its slightly curled wings, and it was glorious.

Ocean Mysteries

Tracy thinks these are air bladders from deep sea fish that have been brought up too quickly by fishermen. The bladders expand too quickly then get expelled out the fish’s mouth and float up in bunches to the shore. I can’t find any blue ones on the internet though. Ideas?

And these I’ve seen all my life in the sand under shallow water. I grabbed this one gently and gave it a tug; it was rooted firmly in the sand. What are these?

Scrap Photos

Tracy and Banjo walk along the lagoon in the afternoons, and I’ve been getting out in my kayak as they walk back. Banjo gets a wild hair sometimes and decides to walk out to Cuba, as we joke: she literally drags Tracy in a straight line out to the horizon.

This time she found me in shallow water and was really happy to see me. I wonder if she’d like to get in a boat with us if my next kayak had room for her.

And yet another sunrise from Banjo and my morning walk. I never get tired of these.

Uke Segment

My final uke video from the Keys (unless I end up with free time and create more). As with the others, the sound quality is terrible due to the wind blowing right in my phone’s mic, but maybe that’s a good thing. 🙂

You guys stay safe!

4 thoughts to “Crazy for Rays (and more water photos)”

  1. That blue bladder looks very much like the Man ‘O War jellyfish that wash up on our beaches. If it is just be careful as the stingers can still be active in the sand around it.

    1. Thank you! And, I didn’t know that because welks spiral clockwise, they were considered sacred by natives. “Many whelk shells have been found at ancient burial sites: the oldest was in Kentucky, and dates back some 5,000 to 6,000 years.”