Swimming with Manta Rays
Erik Lindgren/Pia Hultgren
Fri 1 Jul 2016 04:50
This was a magic moment!
Those angle-like animals arrived as predicted. We took the dinghy from our anchorage and drove out in the passage. The weather was perfect. Sunny and only weak winds.
Between May and October the Manta Rays come to feed and to clean themself in this passage north of Nanuya Balavu island. The coral reef passages are in high tide cleaning stations for the Mantas. Here they come to get rid of external parasites by help of a cleaner fish. There are different kind of cleaner fishes around the world and I don’t know exactly which this was. Also during high tide the Mantas feed in this passages where there are a lot of zooplankton which they swallow with open mouth as they swim.
First we had contact with a manta who was swimming 3-4 meters down and we were exited. After a while suddenly we had pairs of Manta rays swimming just under the surface around us.
They just glide majestically through the waters and performed graceful aquabatics for us. Diving again and again returning, twisting and turning.
Manta rays are big and beautiful. It is the largest of all rays. The body is flat with triangular wings and the “disc” can reach 7 m. The ones we saw were 3-4 m wide.
Mantas can live up to at least 50 years, but possibly up to 100 I read somewhere.
was a really exhilarating morning –a memory for life!
Erik, AnnaKlange, Sofia & Pia