The Search For Bright Waters

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What are those FINS in the water!?!?

It's Monday night, after a hard day at work we decide to take out our new favorite toy, the dinghy. We take it out to the bay and decide to drop the anchor so I can swim and Joey can fish. Relaxing, and life is good, ahhhHH!! what the Fu** is that?! Joey and I see the FINS at the same time and immediatly think SHARK! He helps me scramble gracefully (sort of) back into the dinghy. Both our eyes are squinting at the horizon looking for the fins, we're assessing our fragile little inflatable, breathing rapidly; its a precarious situation we're in. 1,000 dollar new engine in danger of sinking if our boat gets eaten, my work cell phone is going to get ruined, and we're pretty far from shore . OHNOOOO!!

oh wait... it's just a stingray.

After the terror wore off we wanted some more adventure so stinger be damned, we followed it around in our dinghy, rowing quietly, trying to get good shots of it.

We weren't even aware there WERE stingrays in this part of the bay. We were anchored in about 6 1/2 ft of water and the stingray - or Ray as we will call him - was going into even more shallow water than that.

Ray was apparently enjoying the evening as well; he lazily swam around us, and occasionally came up/sped up/made alot of racket to feed (we assume). And later we realized there was a second smaller stingray, maybe Mrs. Ray.

After Googling Chesapeake Bay Stringrays I found these MD Local tidbits from

Are there stingrays in the Chesapeake Bay?

Yes, and several of the local species are on display at the National Aquarium. They move up and down the bay with the season and salinity changes.

Capt. John Smith was stung by the common cow-nose ray while fishing near the mouth of Virginia's Rappahannock River in 1610. Legend says he nearly died but was saved when Native Americans found an antidote in the mud of a nearby pristine waterway - known to this day as Antipoison Creek. Smith's one-time fishing spot has a name, too: Stingray Point.

Also in the bay: roughtail stingrays, which can grow to be 6 1/2 feet across; bullnose rays and southern stingrays, both up to 5 feet wide. Cownose rays, some more than 3 feet wide, are very tolerant of low salinity and have been seen as far north as Kent Island.

Have National Aquarium employees been stung on the job?

Yes. But Henningsen says it's rare. The aquarium's 52 rays are "still wild animals, and you have to respect them. But they're pretty docile."

They're accustomed to the divers who feed, examine and perform medical procedures on them. The aquarium also trims their spines to protect the divers and other animals.

Still, the spines grow back, mistakes are made, stings occur and they're quickly treated. "It's very, very painful," said Henningsen, who figures he's been stung four times in 500 encounters with rays here and elsewhere.

They pee alot "these stingrays have a considerable urine flow rate which is almost 10 times higher than those found in marine individuals"

Enjoy our video!

PS: Last night we braved the madness for the midnight premiere of Eclipse. There was a trailer for a movie coming out soon called Charlie St. Cloud that had a lot of sailing in it. Looks worth watching on the big screen!

(youtube trailer)


1 comment:

Mid-Life Cruising! said...

How cool to see a stingray! That move, Charlie Cloud, does look good. We rarely go to the movies but this looks worth going to see. Anything with sailing! My daughter's still sleeping from seeing Eclipse last night.