Open Water Rays in La Jolla
Thick, round bodies almost two feet in length. With even longer tails they were beautiful to see! Most of the rays we see throughout the year while snorkeling in La Jolla marine park live along the bottom. But this pelagic ray loves swimming in open water. With a graceful flapping motion, these guys can swim forward and in reverse. The cuties are amazing to watch.
These aggressive species survive on critters like the octopus, mackerel, and cute seahorses. Often each will capture prey by wrapping it in their fins. When hungry, they also get cranky. The huge sunfish is often chased, attacked and bitten by this species when they are hungry. Bullies!
Our Little Stingray Parade
We decide to film as our pelagic escort swims us toward La Jolla. Sometimes coming quite close and other times staying at depth. We saw episodes of their darting off super fast. Most of the time these rays unique swimming motion is also quite even paced. But always swimming slow enough for us to video and photograph.
We ended the day and had already forgotten about the hammerheads. The small critters from the open Pacific had captivated our journey to the shore. We had just seen and photographed our first pelagic rays anywhere near San Diego, and we loved it!