Tuesday, September 4, 2007

From the Coast of Somewhere Beautiful.....

(Photos by Leigh Bratina)














..Fresh from a long weekend from the coast of somewhere beautiful, I return anew. I am anew both mentally and spiritually. There is just something about the beach that rejuvenates me and restores my spirit, my faith, my perspective on life. While there, something incredible happened. The gulf waters were in such a way, as I have not seen them before. The water was crystal clear and the sand bar was at the edge of the water and extended out for a great length. I am wondering if it was because of reason that the sea life were in great abundance. I saw all kinds of fish (photo above is just one of many of these fish-a electric ray-that are related to a skate/ray and do not have a stinger), porpoise, blue crabs, jelly fish bigger than dinner plates and the best of all was the schools of manta rays feeding on the thousands of small fish. It was a daily occurrence. I read that last Thursday Fairhope had their actual jubilee, where the sea life comes out of the water. While, this was not the case where I was, perhaps all of the numerous sightings and great numbers were somehow related to that. Jubilees are speculated to have something to do with a combination of the earths gravitational pull, the moon and seem to occur on nights when it is hazy.
In any case the schools of manta rays were plentiful. On Saturday I spent a couple hours in the water, alone, swimming with at least 6 different schools of approximately 10-20 rays per school. As the manta ray went along feeding on the large schools of minnows and bait fish, sometimes a manta ray would fly up out of the water, forcing the fish to the surface for a quick meal. It was a magical experience (I managed to take a few photographs of this as well as seen above). To see them, under water in their world, flying like birds in the water it was something to behold. How lucky was I? For a moment I was a witness to it all. It was exhilarating. It is moments like this when I feel so small, so humbled by the power and glory that is God. It allows me to have a fresh outlook on my week. Life is good......



For more information on "Ray's" you can visit a place both near and dear to my heart -my former place of employment: http://www.mote.org/index.php?src=gendocs&link=Stingrays&category=Shark%20Research&submenu=INFO
Where do you escape to "renew"? Let me know by posting your comments.......

3 comments:

MC said...

WOW! That must be an awsome experience.
I love those fascinating underwater flying creatures!

Leigh said...

Thanks MC! It was. I visited your blog. It is evry interesting and informative-folks should check it out. Thanks for stopping by mine!

cbc said...

Sometimes I lose sight and get caught up in the drama. I love it that I can stop and catch up on the joys of life within your ramblings!