Today, I woke on the sun deck to the most beautiful sunrise. It was such a pleasant experience to see the very first moments of light begin to glimmer on the horizon. As I stretched into the morning, I realized that there were quite a few of us awake and staring off into the silence of a new day.
We sailed off to Gun Cay – Honeymoon Harbor. We had the opportunity to swim out into the shallows to be with the Southern Sting Rays that tend to be friendly with tourists in hopes of getting a nibble of squid. We knelt in the shallow waters and captain Geoff offered up a delicious snack for rays. It was not long before we were completely surrounded by these gentle creatures.
We were all situated in a circle and the rays skated over and between our bodies as we offered them bits of the squid or open handed back rubs. The rays sucked the food right out of our hands. They seemed to completely embrace touching us and being touched. They reminded me of the way a cat nudges you for the desirable neck scratch, as they nudged our hands and bodies and hovered for a back rub. At one point, while kneeling, there was a large ray that came right up onto my thighs and remained there while I rubbed his back and fins. I offered love and joy to the ray, which seemed to be graciously received and reciprocated.
There were tiny rays that were only about 12″ from fin tip to fin tip. And there were others that were 36″ across. The littler ones, which were likely males appeared more aggressive in obtaining food, nibbling the tips of my fingertips. It was an experience that for a moment was initially frightening as the barbs of the stingray were quite evident. The rays graceful movements and intentional touches of my body instantly calmed me and I felt comfortable. Though I remained aware of being in their space and respecting their world.
We then had the opportunity to get in the water and snorkel with the rays. I managed to get my gear on and get into the water first. During this time, I had several rays come right up to my mask and nudge my face, then running their fin tips along my neck or shoulders as they swam off. This activity occurred about 10 times and once two rays came up and nudged my face at the same time. This moment was so beautiful. I felt deeply connected to the rays and welcome in their space and consciousness.
As we spent more time with the rays, I had 2 experiences in which the rays lied on the backs of my legs as I floated at the surface of the water. This was truly outstanding. They were completely gentle and comfortable. I was filled with such gratitude.
We spent some time in the water after this point, performing Attunement work with each other. The rays remained with us during the work, some burying themselves in the sand to rest after the afternoon filled with eating and loving. It was difficult for everyone to leave the rays and they appeared to be very happy to continue spending time with us.
The evening concluded with many of us recalling our experiences with the rays and a lesson on rays. Apparently, rays have live young, up to 4 pups. They feed on milk while in utero. They young are preyed on by lemon sharks and hammer heads. Adult rays have a life span of 25-30 years. Sharks and rays have the same 5 sensory systems that we do plus 3 others: the lateral line system- which helps them detect vibration in the water, magnetite – which allows them to orient with magnetic field, and the ampullae of lorenzini – which allows them to identify bioelectricity. I’d never known the complexity of the sensory systems of sharks and rays and really appreciated learning more about them. And I appreciated them as creatures in this universe on a much deeper level of consciousness.