Sierra's first trip to the reef. She didn't really know if SHE was excited or not...
Our tour guides: Carlos and Angel making sure we have our lunch supplies.
Ok, the next pictures are under water. It was our first time getting to play with the camera, so please excuse the lack of flash (I didn't figure out how to turn it on until we got home), the lack of framing (the fish are really freaking fast) or lack of any photographic skill on my part. If I know what the creature is called I will caption it. ***SPOILER ALERT**** When you get to the shark pictures, DON'T PANIC! They are just baby nurse sharks and DO NOT attack people! They will bite if you shove your hand in their mouths, but I am excited not stupid! The first time I went to the reef I got to swim with BIG nurse sharks, but I am not supposed to tell my Granny that, so Granny, don't read that ok? Alrighty then, let's post some pics!
|One of our tour guides, Angel|
|Pretty coral, too bad you can't see it|
|Trying to convince Sierra to get in the water, she thinks Grandpa is crazy!|
|Ten minutes later she finally hangs her feet over but still doesn't want to go in...|
|Sierra finally makes it into the water! Way to go!|
|More fishies and some coral|
|Our tour guide Carlos|
|Fishies and coral|
|Something really cool Carlos was trying to show me, but I didn't understand his bubbles.|
|Carlos pointing out pretty fishies and coral|
|Ummm, the bottom of the ocean? Oh, coral, yeah, coral!|
|Aha! One I know! Spider Crab!|
|Carlos' fin and some coral|
|Fire coral, DON'T TOUCH!|
|Rick's bubbles obviously say "I LOVE YOU!"|
Granny, skip the next few photos please! We left the reef proper and headed over to shark and ray alley. Let's go see some sharks!
|Chumming to get the little guys to come visit.|
Interesting note here: The sharks and rays actually FOLLOW the boats around here. Not for the reason Granny is thinking if she didn't skip these pictures, but it started a long time ago when the fisherman would clean their fish on the boats and toss the guts in the water. Harmless nurse sharks and the Southern Stingrays would follow them around for free goodies. Here come some more, Granny, keep your eyes closed!
|Now the rays have come to play too|
|They really are such beautiful creatures, they are actually playing together.|
|Carlos holding a ray, they like to be petted|
Ok, so now we have friends to swim with, so let's get in the water! Ok, well HALF of us got in the water. Rick and Sierra decided to keep their feet nice and dry on the boat while Grandpa and I jumped right in. Oh, you see the picture above? Carlos is STANDING UP, it is very shallow here.
|Grandpa holding a Southern Stingray|
|Carlos holding a little shark for us to pet. The skin on the top is what you would think, like sand paper, but when he flipped him over so we could pet his tummy, it was very soft and you could feel his breathing and heart beat.|
|Southern Stingray, he kept tickling my feet!|
|Flipping the shark over so we could pet his tummy.|
|Beautiful collection of sea life, all gathered together.|
|Tour guide Angel|
|Me trying to keep my fins off the bottom so we can take pictures. It was very shallow.|
Ok, back to the reef now...
|Fishy swimming away, fishy swimming away fast!|
|Finally, got some better light and look, a fish!|
|Beautiful fan coral|
|Ok, I really liked this coral collection, there are like three pictures of it from slightly different angles. Looks almost fake, like something you would buy to put up behind your aquarium at home.|
|Like I said, I REALLY liked this little grouping of coral!|
|Spiny Sea Urchin, don't let this photo fool you, those spines are over six inches long! Glad I didn't get stuck by one!|
|Come out, come out little fishy!|
|There you are!|
|Rick stole the camera, oh my goodness I look fat! But oh well, it was fun!|
Well, thanks for snorkeling with us, tell Granny she can open her eyes now, we made it back safely!