Yes, we finally saw the manta rays and I managed to swim with
them, so mission accomplished! We spent 3 hours this morning in the
pass where they feed. This time the current was running fast and they
clearly like swimming through the pass against it. Being filter feeders, it must
make feeding a lot easier if the water is moving fast towards them.
Our operation consisted of spotting a ray, getting the dinghy ahead
of it and getting in the water and drifting down to meet it head on,
with mask,snorkel and camera, then try and turn and keep up with it.
That's only possible for a very short while before the current
overwhelms you and the ray effortlessly heads off into the distance. Then it's
find out where Liz has drifted to in the dinghy and wait to be picked up and do
it all over again.They appear to be swimming so slowly and gracefully, yet
easily swim against the current. For us it's hard work and we headed back to the
boat exhausted. Although due to the strength of the current each encounter
was brief, swimming through the pass in such a strong current really is like
flying and was a great experience on it's own.
All very blue as the camera is not up to
long distance shots, but having been dropped by the
dinghy some distance ahead of the
ray, you just see this shape coming towards
It's then very clearly a ray and its time to
get off as many shots as possible before it glides
and the current takes you in the opposite
It's difficult to estimate how big
they are, but this one was a lot bigger than me!
It disappears into the current and it's time
to figure where I am now, and where the dinghy's
Photos of the nearby reef which had a
surprising amount of bluey/mauve corals.
The plate corals can be very big. This is an
average sized one and we've seen them much