Posts here at Aim for Awesome seem to be following an ‘awesome ocean experiences‘ theme lately, and I think that will hold true for a while until I just run out of ideas.

This idea came to me as I was thinking about a time I was wade-fishing in the ocean at Fort Desoto park in Saint Petersburg, Florida.

It was about seven am. and only myself and another wade-fisher were standing chest deep in the cool water catching ‘gator trout’ by free-lining some shrimp on a #1 Gamakatsu hook and letting the current take it.

Nobody else was around… no boats or even kayaks. The morning was very calm and still. The sun was coming up slowly and warming our faces as we faced east. We hadn’t said anything to each other, just preferring to be in our own little worlds catching fish and spending a pristine and peaceful moment in the sea catching big trout.

Out of the stillness of the ocean there erupted a huge explosion of water and my heart was caught in my throat as I thought a mammoth shark was on a feeding frenzy and one of us larger meals (fishermen) would be next on the menu. I didn’t understand what had happened until I was able to think again. My mind had stopped and I stared awestruck as the huge creature fell back into the sea with a huge splash! Shortly after I was able to start breathing again….

I realized, it was a very large (to me) manta ray that I guess was feeding. It’s wing-span was approximately 8 feet across and it’s wings were flapping wildly as it came 2 meters high out of the water, straight up!

The other fisherman and I looked at each other after the splash and both had our own way of releasing the tension (holy ****!) then we laughed nervously, both of us very relieved that it wasn’t a shark.

Here are some short videos of jumping manta rays in groups on top of the water, filmed from boats… and then one of an exceptionally large beast filmed underwater by some divers as it jumped out of the water.

Manta rays jumping off the coast of Costa Rica

Keep in mind, these mantas are probably 2 meters across in wingspan! It appears that they’re jumping 3-4 meters out of the water, repeatedly! What an awesome life experience that would be… so close to these incredible creatures from the sea.

Here’s a school of manta rays jumping off the coast of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

And, finally – the very large manta filmed from underneath the water by some divers as it climbs to the surface and jumps!

Best of Life!