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Getting Away from a Ray

Key Biscayne
Miami, Florida
March 25, 2012

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Snorkeling off the shore of Key Biscayne, only one of us saw anything particularly interesting -- and she didn't appreciate it all. About 50 yards offshore, Ellie looked down and saw a ray, skimming along the sandy bottom about 10 feet below us.

She turned quickly and headed for shore, as fast as she could swim. Em and I tried to keep up with her. I tried to get her to slow down, to calm down and take a breath because, as I told her after, "I didn't think you could swim all the way to shore in a panic. But I was wrong: you could."