Giant Mantas, Sting Rays and Sharks

Creatures mainly outside of our Gardens; Land, Water and Sea
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Giant Mantas, Sting Rays and Sharks

Post by fabindia »

I often think Wendy and I have a privileged life to be able to live here in Asia. We love India where we actually got to see wild Asiatic Lions and here in Thailand there is so much wildlife to get to see.
Last weekend, we went to Phi Phi to visit our son, Josh, who is a diving instructor there and I got to do a couple of dives with him. Between the first and second dives, called surface interval in diving terms - a period were you allow nitrogen to released from your body, we jumped off the boat with Wendy and did a bit of snorkelling. Besides thousands of fish, we got to see sharks!
These were blacktip reef sharks. They get up to about 1.8 metres in length but are not at all dangerous, in fact, they are very skittish creatures, who quickly swim off if you disturb them.
On our second dive, Josh and I again got to see sharks, this time at about 15 metres down, which is slightly unusual as they tend to patrol the reef at quite shallow depths.
The next day, we went snorkelling from a local beach and again saw 10 to 15 sharks just cruising around in the warm waters. An amazing sight.
Mantas and Sting Rays belong to the same family as sharks. It is mind blowing to think that there have been sharks in the oceans longer than there have been trees on the land. Planet Earth should really be called planet Ocean.
On Thursday, Josh, who has nearly 3,000 dives under his belt, said he had the best two dives ever. They swam with six Giant Manta Rays. I have caught a quick glimpse of these magnificent and graceful creatures but they have quickly swam away. On Thursday, Josh says that kept still in the water and had a 4 metre long manta just circling them for 20 minutes.
On Friday, Josh managed to swim with a whale shark, the largest fish in the sea that grow up to 13 metres long and can weigh up to 21 tons.
I have been instructing this week but saw nothing as exciting, though I did get to see a Kuhl's Maskray (a species of medium sizes Sting Ray) in the sand yesterday at about 13 metres down. Although there was the much published death of Steve Irwin, the so-called crocodile hunter, from a Sing Ray attack, these are not aggressive creatures. Unfortunately for him, Steve Irwin was a guy who messed around with dangerous creatures, which is why we always teach people never to touch the wildlife and leave it as undisturbed as possible. It is a privilege for a few of us to enter the marine world and I want to leave it as untouched as possible.
Here are a few pictures I have linked from the internet.
Blacktip Reef Shark
Giant Manta Ray
Whale Shark
Kuhl's maskray
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Re: Giant Mantas, Sting Rays and Sharks

Post by Mo »

fabindia wrote: It is a privilege for a few of us to enter the marine world and I want to leave it as untouched as possible.

Quite right too.
Dance caller.
Sunny Clucker enjoyed Folk music and song in mid-Cheshire
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