We set off bright and early from our anchorage for the shallows inside Moorea's lagoon where people feed the stingrays each day. As soon as our dinghy approached the mooring where the rays feed, a few of them greeted us as they have learned that the sound of an engine means their breakfast has arrived.
We slid into the lagoon water, which was turquoise and like silk to touch and dipped our masked heads under. It was incredible seeing so many of these beautiful creatures gliding below us.
A man was feeding them fish and I asked him for some that I might feed them myself. I held the fish under-water and after a few minutes, I was surrounded by about five rays. I put my hand underneath to feel one stingray's mouth and gave him a little scratch. Another time when I did this, my finger was mistaken for a piece of fish and I got a gummy nip, which didn't hurt but shocked me.
Jamie's mum Nona couldn't be stopped, a fearless swimmer, even when it came to the black tipped reef sharks (who were also being fed). She kept swimming out, as if to join the feeding sharks and more than once, Jamie and I had to go and guide her back to the shallows. One local man called out to her "Watch out for your fingers!"
Nona's big smile
It was an incredible day and the three of us were thrilled to have had such an experience.