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Ted Hoppe
08-13-2009, 04:30 PM
I was getting off the last ferry after a long day of work when a boy of around 12 (that I have never seen) asked me to take a look at a stingray that had been found on edge the wide bicycle path which trails along the San Francisco bay. I know there have been many local fishermen who recently work this rocky shore in beer drinking sport and shark fishing. Within a few guided steps, I came across this single ray that had been left to dry out and die. Knowing a thing about fish, I guess he had been out for quite a while. Within a few yards of this suffering fish, there were numerous dogfish and leopard sharks shrivelled and dead.

As I approached it, the poor fish, covered in gravel and dirt, struggled with a single flap on his right side. Quickly, I dropped my backpack and went searching for the right tools. I found a broad board about 4 foot in length among the high tide line. I approached the serving platter sized fish, slid the board underneath and picked it up. This poor ray and I made long eye contact when I drew the board up steady to carry it. I walked fish over to the water carefully and slowly lowered it back into the bay. The fish slipped off the board and immediately went right under into the green water. I remained fixed close to the shore to watch the surface of the water. About 20 seconds later, the resurrected ray rose out of green depth, surfaced and slowly broke the surface. His eyes rose above the waterline as to look for me. Our eyes met and locked again in quiet conversation. For more than 10 seconds, this grey ghost swam a semi- circle arc from my point, fins tips lightly exposed as to say I am here and ok. Then the fish slipped back into the dark green water.

I have thought about it for many days since. I have no doubt about my connection with nature or reconfirms my role of a greater caretaker.

Upnorth1
08-13-2009, 04:37 PM
I have thought about it for many days since. I have no doubt about my connection with nature or reconfirms my role of a greater caretaker.

Where was the greater caretaker when the fish in question were being thrown up onshore? While I would certainly commend your actions I wouldn't read too much else into it.

seanz
08-13-2009, 04:40 PM
Nice post Mr Hoppe.......Hooray!

:D:D

floatingkiwi
08-13-2009, 04:51 PM
Devil fish those batrays mate. You know what it was saying to you when it was a peering into your soul?
"Don't go swimmin".

TimH
08-13-2009, 04:51 PM
Excellent.

Ted Hoppe
08-13-2009, 05:25 PM
I think it was saying, " Stick with chicken."

Peter Malcolm Jardine
08-13-2009, 05:29 PM
Nice Ted... it's funny how often does feel disconnected to our natural world, and with good reason. An experience like that makes you feel like you belong here with all of the creatures on Mother Earth.

Ted Hoppe
08-13-2009, 05:36 PM
Quite a personal moment with a most unlikely creature.
Questions of intellegence, emotion and compassion were raised. Complexities of life too.

brad9798
08-13-2009, 07:31 PM
Interesting ... thought-provoking.

Good on you, Ted!

paladin
08-13-2009, 07:54 PM
Swimming with eagle rays is interesting. They'll feed from your hand, let you touch them, but don't grip one or try to grab it, it gets excited and afraid and reacts accordingly.

Phillip Allen
08-13-2009, 07:58 PM
Swimming with eagle rays is interesting. They'll feed from your hand, let you touch them, but don't grip one or try to grab it, it gets excited and afraid and reacts accordingly.

I have done it...wasn't expecting to suddenly be in a whole flock of the things just as the sun went down...it was a religious experience on a couple of levels...I got out of the water

Kaa
08-13-2009, 08:43 PM
http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm161/kaa_photobucket/20090804_0143_S1.jpg

:-)

Kaa

Pirate-at-heart
08-14-2009, 07:34 AM
Ted,
Youre a good man.
Thanks for helping wild animals when you had the chance.
Cheers, and have a great day dude.
:)

Mrleft8
08-14-2009, 08:33 AM
Wow....... Ish has a west coast alter ego...;)

John of Phoenix
08-14-2009, 09:14 AM
Karma man, good Karma.

Lew Barrett
08-14-2009, 09:27 AM
Good job, Ted.

I will fondly remember our tourist's jaunt to Sting Ray City off the Caymans. Fun afternoon.

"Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air"
And what a fine job we've made of it, eh?

TimH
08-14-2009, 09:31 AM
I used to volunteer at a wildlife clinic. Some animals obviously can quickly realize that you are trying to help them. Others never get past their fear. They are just like people really.

Ted Hoppe
08-14-2009, 10:41 AM
Thinking of getting calling cards made:
Wooden boat sailor -
Friend to animals.

TomF
08-14-2009, 10:47 AM
One of my wife's university students told her stories about, of all things, the goldfish that live in their outdoor pond.

The fish know and recognize the student's family - will come to the side of the pool and blow bubbles in recognition.

The fish show considerable empathy. One night, a raccoon got into the pond - killing 2 fish, and maiming another .. which was left blind. The remaining fish have, for a couple of years now, taken turns essentially leading the blind one for swims 'round the pond together. The blind fish never swims alone ... always just within touch of a fin.

There's more complexity and emotion in the world than we've any notion.

mobjack68
08-14-2009, 10:48 AM
ya done good....
did you keep the board?? thinking 'bout some politicians I know that need to be "slipped into the briny"

Paul Pless
08-14-2009, 12:59 PM
Well done. Well done indeed. I suspect that as strong of an emotional reaction that you have had to this; that the 12 year old boy that guided you to the ray's rescue has perhaps had an even more profound one. . .:)

Ted Hoppe
08-14-2009, 01:17 PM
that the 12 year old boy that guided you to the ray's rescue has perhaps had an even more profound one. . .:)

You bet!

Reminded me in appearance, awkwardness and gentle sweetness of myself at his age. He was a guide. All quite provoking and profound.

Osborne Russell
08-14-2009, 03:52 PM
Right on. But I say, don't get too wrapped up in the spiritual part between you and the creature; it's worth doing just to piss off the nature haters and homocentrists.