Thursday, 01 November 2018

Paddle Boarding with Flying Rays in Loreto Featured

Written by Jill Weinlein
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While driving to the Villa del Palmar Beach and Spa Resort in Loreto, Mexico, my driver stopped at a view spot to point out the leaping rays. These creatures were jumping six feet high in the air so vigorously above the water, that the slapping sound they made when they fell back into the water could be heard for miles. It was a magnificent show and I wanted to be out in the water to see these creatures up close.

Villa del Palmar Beach and Spa Resort is located in a canyon along the Sierra Gigantic mountains and the turquoise waters of Danzante Bay. Each room in the multi-story hotel offers stunning ocean and mountain views. There are three ocean breeze restaurants, five beautiful tile mosaic swimming pools, two tennis courts, a 39,000 square foot luxury Sabila Spa, world class 18 hole golf course and complimentary kayaks and paddle boards.

After checking in, I donned my bathing suit and requested a paddle board to explore the area and hopefully find some rays. I was instructed to do the “Stingray shuffle” while walking out into the shallow water, Danzante Bay is home to hundreds of rays hiding under a thin layer of sand, and the best way to prevent getting stung is to slide your feet along the sand. The shuffling sends vibrations and alerts the rays to swim away.

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Looking down into the crystal clear water, I noticed schools of fish underneath me and hungry pelicans flying overhead.

About 500 feet away I heard a slapping sound, similar to a belly flop. In the distance were four rays rising out of the water. As I paddled faster to the rays, I noticed they soared out of the water again. Two at a time they rose above the water revealing their perfectly designed flat bodies and wing-like pectoral fins. The design is ideal for swooping down through the water and soaring up into the air. These rays remained airborne for several seconds doing astonishing aerobatic maneuvers, before belly-flopping back into the sea.

As I paddled closer, they must have sensed my vibration standing on board and flapped their wings right under me, giving the appearance of “flying” through the ocean like a bird.

I stood mesmerized watching this dramatic show. Later, after I finished my adventure, I went back to my room and researched rays in the Sea of Cortez.

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Last modified on Thursday, 01 November 2018

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