OUR little bay here in Salinas is an awesome place to watch wildlife, and luckily many of the coolest creatures announce themselves, allowing you to get your nose out of your book or computer in time to catch a glimpse. The spotted eagle rays often give a little splash before hurling themselves several feet into the air, landing with a huge belly-flopping smack. If you look up at the first splash, you can often catch a glimpse of their trademark spots as they fly through the air. This morning, I asked Philip why they jumped. He didn’t know. So we asked the interwebs, and it didn’t know, either, but suggested that they were avoiding predators (sharks!!) or feeding. But it did tell us about a woman who died a couple of years ago when a jumping eagle ray hit her in the head while she was boating, which is totally going to give me nightmares in the dinghy for at least two weeks.
I think the internet is totally wrong about rays jumping; I think they jump for joy.
Or to avoid the mantees, which are just big sea cows, but perhaps look like a shark to a ray. (I don’t think rays are very smart.) This morning, I heard a snuffling noise from just behind the boat and whipped around, knocking over my coffee cup and spraying coffee all over the cockpit, and started urgently whispering for Philip to turn around, because only a few feet away was massive algae-covered beast! We ooohed and ahhhed, which was kind of funny, because they really are REALLY UGLY creatures.
The pelicans also announce their presence with a huge sploosh as they dive for fish. This isn’t news to anyone, but worth mentioning because there are a lot of them here and when they all start diving together around sunset, it’s like the Blitz — Boom! Boom! Boom!
(I just asked Philip how to write a bomb sound. He said, “You can’t. Just say boom. Are you writing about the dog?” referring to this really annoying yappy beast on a nearby boat we constantly “shoot” with our magic finger pistols. And sometimes even our magic grenade launchers.)
Anyhoo, in other animal news, both cats have finally discovered the cat bed I made for them months ago. Turns out they just didn’t want to snuggle up in a feather-stuffed cardboard box in the sauna-climate of Curacao. Not stupid, my cats. Here, however, it’s cold. No, really, I had to put on a long-sleeved shirt the other morning, because it was so cold. At least 72 or so. Brrrrrr!
Hahahahaha! You hate me, don’t you?