Manta Rays & A Life Raft!

We motored to Caletta Partida because there was not a breath of wind. Manta Rays entertained us by jumping out of the water. It looked like they were either trying to fly or just playing and it was amazing. We got the anchor set and took a tour of the harbor before enjoying a lovely evening. In the morning Kathy and I kayaked in the shallows looking at the starfish and critters on the bottom. The three of us took the dink to the other side of the island and were able to go on beaches and into the sea caves because the water was absolutely flat and there was no wind. All of a sudden we thought we saw rocks and realized it was a “river” of Manta Rays swimming under us. There were thousands of them slowly swimming by… we were all speechless. We followed the school/flock watched in amazement. Not one of us had actually seen anything so spectacular in our lives! The Mantas were also jumping all around us landing with very loud splashes. They seemed to give us an actual finale before leaving us by the little ones all jumping over and over again at the same time in a line. The entire event was surreal and we felt very fortunate to have been in that spot on that day. We also saw huge schools of very large fish that we think were yellow tails swimming under us… We headed back to the boat all talking of how amazing it was.
On the way back we stopped by the other boats in the anchorage to let them know that we were going to inflate our old life raft and we weren’t crazy or in trouble.
We saved our old life raft after purchasing a new one because we wanted to inflate it and try to get into it from the water. We have always heard that it is difficult to do even in calm waters and had never tried it ourselves and neither had Kathy. We had been waiting for the perfect time to try it (when the water warmed enough to swim) and decided this to be the perfect time.
Mike mounted the GoPro and placed the raft on the aft swim platform (the raft was very heavy) and tied the line to Mermaid. I kicked it in the water and gave a hard pull on the painter. To my surprise the painter was 30 feet long, so it was a lot of pulling. I guess in heavy seas the raft would have floated that far away. The life raft inflated with quite an explosion and righted itself to cheers from us and others in the anchorage. Mike jumped in and had a time getting into the raft. The raft has a ladder but it was inside the raft and hard to reach. Once he threw the ladder out Kathy swam and tried to climb in. She had a difficult time as well because of her height. She needed a couple of inches more in her reach to use the ladder properly so Mike helped her in. I swam next and was able to climb in with no problem. The raft smelled a bit moldy and we all decided that in a stressful situation and in pitching seas it would not be a fun place to be, but today it was fun.
We swam back to Mermaid, rinsed off and decided it was time for dinner, drinks and dominoes… What a fantastic day we had!

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