Roaming About

A Life Less Ordinary

Wordless Wednesday – Graceful

I have decided to post photos (or videos) of past travels in general and our eight year sailing adventure on SV Irie in particular for Wordless Wednesdays.Β  Also, I can’t manage “completely wordless”, but I’ll try my best at “almost wordless”. πŸ™‚

With thousands of photos and tons of movies haphazardly archived over the years, I can’t easily pick what to post, so I use the weekly prompt of the Daily Post to inspire my Wordless Wednesdays. This week’s Daily Post photography theme is “graceful“.

One early morning, in the bay of Hanamoenoa on the island of Tahuata in the Marquesas, French Polynesia, we saw the tips of wings break the water surface. It didn’t take long for Mark and I to don our snorkel gear and join our neighboring friends in the water to observe the unique spectacle of gentle manta rays feeding on plankton in the bay. Their wing span is wider than our length and their presence was majestic. The four of us just relaxed in the water, while these graceful giants swam back and forth, once in a while touching our bodies with their velvety wings, unwithered by the big, indigestible nuggets floating in their soup. Enjoy this peaceful encounter!

What comes to mind when you think about graceful?


  1. They are incredibly graceful creatures Liesbet; is that your own video? For me, butterflies are the essence of gracefulness.

    • They are pretty amazing and so are butterflies – graceful and fluttering. πŸ™‚ Yes, I shot quite a few videos of this experience and many others, mostly wildlife encounters and cultural events. Never really did anything with them, though.

  2. How incredible! What wonderful creatures <3

  3. I had the chance to swim with some manta rays at a beach in Hawaii a couple of years ago. What an incredible experience that was! I love your video – it really captures how gentle and graceful they are.

    • Thanks, Janis. And so wonderful you could experience swimming with these amazing rays as well. I’d love to go to Hawaii one day!

  4. Wonderful images Liesbet, manta rays are so graceful and gentle. We swam with them near Puerto Vallarta in Mexico many years ago and it was an amazing experience. Thank you for reminding me! :o) xxx

    • It is so nice to know that these rays are frequenting all these places in the Pacific! What a beautiful experience you had. Great memories, for you and for me. πŸ™‚

  5. Absolutely astounding!! As you can imagine I would so love ot have this experience. The water is so clear and graceful is the perfect word to describe the movement. Wow!

    • The way you are having adventures, I am sure you will get a chance to swim with them soon, Sue. Maybe on a next trip to Mexico? Or Hawaii? Just the thought must make you warm inside, when you look at the snow outside. πŸ™‚

  6. I really enjoy your post ! That’s looks amazing πŸ˜€

  7. Beautiful video of the manta rays! Graceful indeed!

  8. I’ve never had a chance to swim with rays before. Hoping to one day.

    • You will, once you start cruising. I can’t remember seeing rays in the Bahamas, but there are definitely some around in the Caribbean! Not mantas, but eagle and spotted rays.

  9. So cool! Hoping to see/do this some day.

  10. Graceful is the perfect word choice for your video. Unfortunately, if I had been there, it wouldn’t have been. We went swimming with sting rays once and I freaked out — I’m not really good with fish.

    Stephanie @ SV CAMBRIA

    • I thought about the manta rays and about the graceful sea lions in the water (not on land) of the Galapagos, when I read the photo challenge topic this week. I’ll save the sea lions for “agile” or “frisky” whenever that topic comes up. πŸ™‚ The mantas are imposing, but oh so gentle. I could see why they would freak you out, though. I guess you wouldn’t be very fond of swimming with sharks either? πŸ™‚

  11. The first image that comes to mind for me when I hear the word ‘graceful’ is that of a dancer. These mantra rays actually look like they are dancing. They are absolutely gorgeous!

    • Dancers are graceful as well! I find it so interesting how one word can trigger different images for different people: dancer, butterflies, flowers, manta rays. So many ways to interpret the topic. The mantas in the video do look like they are dancing, or gracefully flying through the water.

  12. Fantastic images, Liesbet! They look a bit scary to me, but then I’m a terrible scaredy cat and I’m glad to hear they’re gentle as well as so graceful. πŸ™‚

    • They are very big, but they didn’t pay any attention to us in the water. It was truly amazing that they kept circling back and we didn’t have to do any effort to observe them. Usually, sea creatures swim away and cover quite some ground when you hang out with them and you have to follow them for a while, like sea turtles or sharks. These guys just stayed close, because that’s where their minuscule food particles were.

  13. Beautiful! For all the downs of the cruising life, there are the miraculous moments that make all the frustration melt away. We’ve seen plenty of eagle and sting rays, but never a manta in the wild. We are always on the lookout though!

    • You are correct, Lucy! I hope you guys will get some “return” soon, probably whenever you dip your toes in that crystal clear Bahamian water and you see Hastings run on the whitest of sands. πŸ™‚ For many years, those miraculous moments made it worthwhile for us to keep cruising, until they didn’t anymore.

  14. So cool!

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