Up early at 6am to go snorkelling with the Mantarays and there is a big group of us going, Kiwi Bus Chris, Ben and the 2 English girls Jasmine and Mia plus an American couple who are nice and chat to on the boat. The boat ride is about 30mins and is a little bumpy so it makes a few people feel sea sick. When we arrive we are the only group there, but it takes awhile for the guides to spot the Mantarays so we have to go normal snorkelling first for about 20minutes.
The snorkelling is quite cool and around the shallow reef, so there are a lot of fish about of all colours and lots of blue star fish. The only annoying thing with this area is the sea lice (actually jellyfish lavea) in the sea, which just prickle your skin so doesn’t harm you for you can feel it all the same. We have to be careful we stay near the beach area, as the current is really strong and will drag you out to sea. Think the beach area is where Barefoot Manta is and where I had wanted to go, but wasn’t able to get booked in.
After awhile the guide spots the Mantarays as you can see the from the boats. There are about 7 of them that come every year and just flow through the passage here eating Plankton and going with the current. Seeing them is amazing as they really are huge and understand why they are called the gentle giants of the sea, since they are harmless and just gracefully glide around under the sea.
Despite not having hat long left, we manage to get some good time with them. One hovers close by so that we can dive down to get some good pics and then follow behind it watching it cruise through the sea. They are fast though and unless you are swimming with the current it is pretty impossible to keep up with them. Th sea is also quite dark as visibility is not as good as the reef snorkeling due to the plankton and ut being deep. So they dissapear into the dark blue quite easily and also swim up right behind or under you, which is a cool feeling as you are so unaware until you look about and you have a huge Manta right next to you. Amazing experience and I would be happy to swim with them everyday if I could.
23rd May 2016