Swimming with Manta Rays

Manta Ray up close

Manta Ray up close

It was a beautiful day Thursday with perfectly sunny skies. The same charter megayacht we saw in Namenalala arrived to our anchorage today. We watched the antics of their crew and guests as they played with all the jet skis, set up a beach picnic on the nearby shore, and had cocktails on the decks of the beautiful yacht.

We were also keeping an eye on Manta Ray pass to see if boats found any manta ray. They hadn’t been seen in the last couple of days. Finally, around 3 PM, we saw a boat pointing and a big splash. The Jacksters all jumped into our dinghy with us and we ran over with all our snorkel gear. Taking turns handling the dinghy, we all had a chance to jump in and swim with the mantas as they swam back and forth feeding. The mantas are such cool creatures with huge graceful diamond-shaped bodies, and these wicked looking big mouths, large distinctive gills, long tails, and very flexible fins on the ends. There were lots of other fish in huge schools feeding as well. Several boat loads of nearby resort guests jumped in, and the guests of the megayacht as well. Very cool experience!

[UPDATE July 20: Video clip added]

Here is a short video of the two manta rays feeding while we were there. They swam right beneath me during this clip and I swam a few feet beneath the surface to take this video. Notice that the second ray has lost his tail at some point. I don’t know whether they grow back. He has interesting white marks, whereas the first one is all black. Turn on HD for a higher-resolution version.

[UPDATE JULY 21: Here are the photos from our visit to Manta Ray Pass]

Photo album:

View full-sized slideshow

We plan to leave today, Friday, for the next island stop south called Waya.

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3 Responses to Swimming with Manta Rays

  1. Zenda Hines says:

    Miss y’all! Don’t come home it’s not as fun here. Love ya stay safe. TMI about Frank swimming naked :)………

  2. Patti says:

    The second manta was quite beautiful in its coloring – thanks for the video. I haven’t had dinner yet here, and the sound during the video reminded me of bacon frying so now I’m hungry! Just wanted to make you laugh. I’m moving back to the other post now…

    • Frank Taylor says:

      Hey Patti, thanks for the laugh. The sound definitely makes the video genuine doesn’t it? The mantas were cool to watch!

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