Juvenile Spotted Eagle Ray

As our dive boat approached the dock, at Blue Angel Resort in Cozumel, we noticed Jeanie Buscher waiting to greet us. Mary and I had just completed our morning dives at Barracuda and San Juan; what an adrenaline rush, wicked fast current and evil down drafts as you literally fly through the water. Jeanie’s husband Mike had been diving with us so we thought she was there to see Mike. Jeanie leaned in as the boat was being tied off and excitedly told us that Victor had seen a juvenile spotted eagle ray on the Blue Angel shore dive. Mary cut her eyes at me; and that usually means we are “going in again”, and so we hurried to the dive shop with our gear in tow for a fresh tank.

We set up our fresh tanks, put out gear back on, and jumped in the water. Sure enough, not far from the Cozumel Snorkel Experience fence, there was a juvenile spotted eagle ray eating in the sand. The Blue Angel shore dive is filled with plenty of little crabs and shrimp, a baby eagle rays favorite food I’m sure. The sound of my bubble exhaust must have scared it and it quickly took off but not before I got it on video. Mary and I spent some time navigating around the Snorkel fence and then on our return we again spotted the juvenile eagle ray. This time it seemed interested in what was inside the Snorkel fence but quickly took off when we approached.

I was somewhat perplexed that Mary and I were the only divers that seemed to take an interest in seeing the juvenile spotted eagle ray since it is really rare to see one this time of year in Cozumel. They are seen most often between January and April when the water is cooler, but, you might see one at any time of the year. Most importantly though is how unusual it is to see a juvenile spotted eagle ray. We have seen many spotted eagle rays, but never a juvenile, and we were really excited to get the chance to see one.

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