Posted by: charityliz | June 9, 2012

rays in the bay

My old SUP digs were on the Central Coast, where I often encountered playful sea otters, dolphins, seals and even some crazy crowds of jelly fish one time!

When I moved to the Bay Area, all that seemed to change.  I now paddle in the calm canals of Redwood Shores.  Instead of being lined with sandy beaches and rolling hills, I’m surrounded with condos and docks.  It’s still nice, but it’s not exactly the most nature-filled experience.  Outside of the ducks, seagulls, and lots of floating green algae lumps, I really don’t see much natural beauty during a typical day on the water.

However, a couple weeks ago, I was shocked when I suddenly found myself padding over a school of bat rays.  I really couldn’t believe my eyes at first, because I’ve actually never seen bat rays in nature — even when I was paddling on the open ocean a lot.   It was so shocking, I almost fell off my board.  They were incredible!  Some of the largest were probably three feet wide, and there were several smaller ones.  I’d say it was a school of twenty or so.  It was such an incredible sight that I stood there on the water (I love being able to say that I can stand on water!) just watching them for at least ten minutes.  I was lucky enough to capture a couple photos as well –but even though they were swimming right under my board, it’s a little hard to see them in the photo due to the murky water.

I can see at least three bat rays in this pic; can you see them?

you can almost see his face!

this one was HUGE – at least 3 feet wide

that white streak to the right of my board is the underside of one of the bat wings!!

NOTE: I’m really not sure what kind of rays these are, but from my limited research (i.e. the following source), I believe they are, in fact bat rays.



  1. Cooool. Just watch out for the stinger. :[

  2. That’s pretty awesome. I saw some in Newport Bay while kayaking a couple of years ago. But not THAT many. A whole school ??? That’s amazing!!!!!

  3. those are sting rays!

  4. Charity! That’s awesome!! What a treat for you, I love little gifts like these. Some of the coolest moments in my life have been by myself, outside, with no expectations. Those guys were meant just for you 🙂

  5. That is so cool!!!

  6. Wow, you are brave!! I think I would completely freak out!!! I like my rays in an aquarium. 🙂

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