She witnessed this phenomenon while searching for whale sharks. Her photographs are a heartwarming statement that nature still has some surprises for us. She said: ‘It was an unreal image, very difficult to describe. The surface of the water was covered by warm and different shades of gold and looked like a bed of autumn leaves gently moved by the wind. It’s hard to say exactly how many there were, but in the range of a few thousand’ .
Golden Rays measure up to 2m across and are poisonous. They like to migrate in large groups of up to 10,000 as they follow the ocean currents towards summer feeding grounds off the Yucatan Peninsula. They make two migrations, moving north in late spring (as pictured here) and south in late autumn.
Sting Ray Safety
Although rays are timid animals, and do not deliberately attack humans, they do cause a threat in coastal areas. They tend to like to settle on the sea bottom under a sprinkling of sand or camouflaged between clumps of seaweed. Consequently it is easy for the unwitting sailor or fisherman to step on them in which case they will use their barbs on their tails to defend themselves.
Although this is rarely fatal, it is known to be an extremely painful experience. Anglers and sailors are advised to wear ray-proof footwear that will stand up to an attack.
- Always wear polarized glasses to help you see the outline of a ray on the sea bottom.
- Shuffle your feet or probe the sand with a wooden stick before you step out.
- Wear heavy duty lightweight protection such as "Rayguards" that cover the legs from the calves to the feet.
- Never step out of a boat in shallow coastal waters without looking at your landing spot.
- Avoid wading in shallow murky water or at night when visibility is low.
- If you happen to catch a stingray with a hook, do not handle it or bring it in the boat. Cut it free.
- Commercial fishermen are sometimes injured while trying to take a ray out of a net.
- The spine is sharp enough to go through ordinary gloves and clothing.
Sandra Critelli, Amateur Photographer
Tom Earnhardt of Fly Fishing E-zene
Copyright Christine Fadhley
Source: Pinterest, Oceanfdn, I Am Bored, Suite101: Christine Fadhley