I have been, for years, fascinated by manta rays. I think they are beautiful animals as they gracefully "fly" through the ocean. And they are huge.
So, I was at this meeting about politics in Washington State a long time ago (when I was in the corporate world). The meeting was put on by a business association. And every year they gave away two tickets to anywhere Alaska Airlines flies. I sat at a table after a break and all these attractive women sat at the same table. I felt kind of lucky. Then they did the drawing for the airline tickets. And I literally said, "I never win these things." Then they called my number. I had won the tickets.
My wife and I decided to go to Kona, Hawaii with the free tickets. We'd never been there. So I made hotel reservations and rental car reservations and we went to Kona.
I'd heard about people scuba diving or snorkeling with manta rays. What they do it they go at night and shine bright lights up from the bottom of the ocean and that attracts plankton and the plankton attract manta rays.
So I was talking to the activities person at the hotel and told her I'd like to go snorkeling with manta rays. And she set it up for me (it cost money, of course).
We went at sunset on a boat that went out from the harbor a ways but not very far. Once we got there, they gave us snorkeling masks and pool noodles. The noodles were to go under our ankles to keep our feet from hitting the manta rays. Apparently they have delicate skin.
The mantas that came were small. Nothing like the one in the picture above. But they swam around under us, scooping up plankton with their large mouths. And I loved every second of it. They are such majestic fish. So graceful. I still treasure that memory.
Have you had any experiences you treasure? Let me know in the comments below.