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Day 8: Beach Day and Night Snorkeling with Manta Rays

Hi it’s Hannah! Today we started off the morning right with some chocolate chip pancakes made by Ian, Elle and Rory. They were super yummy. While clean crew cleaned up, I braided Maddie, Elle, and Mela’s hair. We cleaned up and got our stuff ready to head out for our beach day. We bumped some tunes in the car for the 45 minute drive. Then we got there and applied LOTS of sunscreen. Sam, Cayla, Juliet and I took a little walk down the beach and we met a group of kids on a graduation trip. Maddie and Kelvyn gave us our phones for an hour and we called home to all of you! Super fun! They gave us a little extra time and we were able to talk to some of our friends as well. Robert walked over to this resort that was on the beach and bought a coca-cola. We all followed in his lead and went over there and got Shirley Temples. Daniel and Robert made sand castles which were super cool. Mela made friends with a jellyfish. After our long but very fun day at the beach, we packed all of our stuff up and headed out to go night snorkeling with the manta rays. We arrived at the boat and got all suited up in our wet suits. We got on the boat and all sat on the front of the boat immediately to watch the sunset. It was so beautiful getting to see everyone smiling and hanging out with each other while watching the sun go down and getting splashed by the waves. Robert requested some country and gave us a little show while singing some of his favorite songs, which made everyone smile. The boat arrived at the manta ray spot and everyone was full of so much excitement. we were looking out to see if we could see any manta rays and we saw monk seals which I think was one of the coolest things I’ve ever experienced especially because they are endangered and we saw two. They came right up to the boat and were interacting with us as if we were one of them. Their little faces were so cute🥲. They were flipping and playing with each other right next to our boat. It was finally dark and it was time to get into the water to snorkel with the manta rays. We got in and watched as the light on the bottom of the board we were holding onto lit up so we could see straight down to the bottom of the ocean. Shortly after, a manta ray swam right next to us. I don’t think any of us have ever experienced anything like that. As we were swimming closer to the divers campfire (which is a ring of scuba divers and their lights that attract the mantas), the two seals were close enough that we could touch them if we wanted to. One brushed up against Lydia! Then, they started playing (or fighting it was hard to tell) literally a foot away from Ian and I, and Ian quickly ducked and left me by myself to get out of the way (silly Ian). We kept swimming and as we were heading back to the boat, we saw another manta ray! I think it was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. As we got on the boat everyone quickly took a hot boat shower which was bomb considering we haven’t had that in a really long time. We all got changed and Rory and Elle had a little nap on the boat ride back. After arriving back at the boat dock we got our stuff and headed to the parking lot, where we all had a little dance party by the van. Juliet hit the griddy which was very slay. We drove to pick up pizza and then went to the beach to eat it. We all enjoyed it, except for Kelvyn who decided to get the worst kind of pizza, veggie (yuck am I right). We left the beach and drove back to camp where we had an evening meeting where we were all half asleep after the day we had, but nevertheless shared about how much fun we had today. It was truly an experience like no other.


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