Travel Photo of the Week: Eagle Ray in Belize

This week’s travel photo comes to you from about 45 feet underwater. When I stayed at the fantastic private island Cayo Espanto a few years ago in Belize, I had my own personal divemaster and boat. That’s the way things roll there. Needless to say I was there for work (hotel review) as this isn’t exactly travel writer’s budget bunks. But with a group of friends I’d love to go back and rent one of these beach houses.

The photo is of an eagle ray I got up close to on a dive. My camera was cheap (an old Sony 5mp W1) and the distance and weak flash were enough to let the deep blue overcome all color in the original photo, so I converted it to black and white as the creature is anyway. But as today is World Oceans Day, I also thought a colorless photo was appropriate.

A lot of beautiful underwater places are really getting beat up. Whether it’s warming seas, increased acidity in the water, careless tourists battering coral with their feet or fins, overfishing, runoff from excessive fertilizer or other chemical uses, or just a complete clusterfrack of an environmental disaster by an international oil behemoth with no sense of responsibility to anyone beyond its stockholders — though of course I’m not referring to BP since, as they point out, that Gulf thing is totally cleaned up and wasn’t any big deal anyway. Totally.

The colors may go away some day and that’s a very sad thing. Unless you’re an eagle ray, because now you’ll blend in better over the reefs.

TRAVEL PHOTOS OF THE WEEK 2012: Week 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19

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