View Full Version : Ray Day...... Day 9

Dave Goodwin
08-28-2012, 11:30 PM
The start of our second week found us heading south, through the construction in town, towards Margate Bay. This has always been one of Les and mine’s favorite dive sites, and we saw no better way to drawn the sorrow of our friends leaving the island than to have a great dive at a favorite location.

The wind whipped through the truck as we passed the Hooker, Angle City, Alice in Wonderland, and finally Pink Beach. With the wind out of the east and the skies clear, it seemed all was right with the world. The water was smooth and everything was the way it was suppose to be. Contentment seemed to engulf the island.

No sooner had I backed the truck up to the shore, than Double L jumped out and walked towards the water. Standing on the iron skirt of the shore, wisps of the Caribbean wetting her feet, the wind blowing her hair across her face, she spread her hands out, tilted her head back, eyes closed, and said loudly, “I proclaim this day Ray Day.”

Smack, who had followed us to the south side, looked at me.

I shrugged. “We haven’t seen a ray this entire trip, so she’s summoning the Ray Gods to help us out,” I said to him. I looked back at Leslie. “Whatever works, I guess.”

Les walked back towards the truck where Smack and I were standing. She methodically put her hands on her hips. “There,” she said, “now we’ll see a ray.”

Neither Smack nor I said anything. I took a swig of water and looked at the ocean.

Leslie sensed our disbelief. “You’ll see,” she said.

The entry was a cinch, as it always is, and we were soon kicking our way to the reef marveling at the array of soft corals and abundant sea life. Smack glided along with us, his yellow force fins reminding me of a large yellow tail snapper. Every so often, my peripheral vision caught the flash of Leslie’s camera, as she snapped a picture of something.

We saw a turtle and a free swimming green moray. That was at least the third green moray we have seen this trip, which gave me hope. A few trips ago, I remember there being some bacteria or something devastating the population. It’s good to see that they are trying to make a comeback.

However, I didn’t notice Leslie point out any rays….. Nor did Smack, or myself, point any out.

“Hey Smack,” I said, as I dropped my rig in the truck after the dive, “how big was that ray you saw?”

Smack was standing at his truck. He smiled. “I didn’t see any rays.”

I shook my head. “Yeah, I must’ve missed it too.” I bit my lower lip, fought back a smirk, and looked over at Les.

“The day’s not over yet, there tough guy,” she said. “We’ll see one today. You just wait.”

We decided to do our second dive at Alice in Wonderland. I like to have at least an hour between dives, so there is bound to be some conversation as we mill around the trucks at the dive site waiting for the minutes to slowly click by.

Both Smack and I are aviation enthusiasts, him as a career; me as an expensive hobby. We gabbed about airplanes, the industry, pilots, flight attendants, navigation, mechanics, and a whole slew of other things. What we didn’t talk about was rays, and specifically about not seeing one on the last dive.

Finally, the hour passed. We snorkeled out, dumped the air from our BCDs, and were on the reef, ready for our ray encounter. I had my doubts, but tried to stay optimistic, hoping it would help. I’d hate to have to give Leslie any more crap about not seeing a ray on her “proclamation” day.

Alice in Wonderland is a nice dive. We don’t do it very often mainly because it’s always so crowded. However, with the low number of divers on the island right now, we were the only ones at the site. There was some stiff current from the north, but the visibility was good with plenty of fish activity.

We had been going north for about 35 minutes and my SPG read 1400 PSI when I signaled Les for the turn. Smack was watching us and caught our communication, him making the turn the same time I did. After a kick or two, I looked around to check on Les. I saw her swimming into the shallows with earnest, her right hand outstretched pointing at something in front of her.

I turned around, kicked a few times, and peered into the light blue. There at the edge of my visibility, in the murk that is the shallows, just close enough to make out, was a spotted eagle ray gliding along.

Halleluiah , we had seen a ray.

I highly doubt I need to describe the conversation that took place as we disassembled our gear at the truck after that dive. If there’s any uncertainty, use your imagination.

And even then, it won’t do that conversation justice……

Dive on Friends,

Dave & Leslie.

kilroy aka roy rayman
08-29-2012, 05:08 AM
I think it went something like " :p meh meh told ya so !!"

Thanks again for putting a huge grin on my face :D

I feel an urge to Hug Leslie ;)

Dave Goodwin
08-29-2012, 03:15 PM
Careful, Roy. That's how I ended up with her.......

08-29-2012, 10:35 PM

They were just waiting for us to leave.


P.s. still working on my trip report. Been too busy back in "reality"

Miss you guys!

08-30-2012, 10:54 PM
I love that you used your new nickaname as your username. hahah So awesome.
Ohh and congrats.