Sunday, March 21, 2010

Hawai'i: Manta Ray Bay

While we were in Kona on the Big Island we did a night snorkel with Manta Rays. Hawai'i is the only place where they have conditioned the Manta Rays to come to these locations at night. The lights that we all had on brought plankton and where there is plankton there are happy Manta Rays. Manta Rays feed strictly on plankton. They have no teeth or barbs, they are harmless, stunning creatures. I thought I would be really nervous swimming with such large creatures in the dark but they are so graceful and so beautiful I was mesmerized and felt calm with them circling beneath me. We saw two Mantas that night. One male who was 6 ft from wing tip to wing tip and one female who was 12 ft across. I wish I could have gotten closer to them but the group I was with had some tourists from Sweden who were flailing a bit in the water so the Mantas kept their distance. I was a once in a lifetime experience and it was amazing. Mantas are so beautiful, I can't even describe how humble I felt being near them. Here are some videos that Jon shot that night. Sorry about the quality it was a little wavey that night and the camera didn't do so well in the dark but you do see them.

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