As most of you know Greg and I took a vacation to Hawaii in late April through early May.
My most memorable experience on the trip was doing the night snorkel to see the famed Manta Ray's on the Big Island. We did the snorkel/dive on Wednesday April 30. I believe 12-13 manta's showed up.
Big Bertha, the biggest Manta in the area, was there. Her wingspan is 14 feet across. I think the average wingspan of the manta's in that area is about 10 feet. One of the newer baby Manta's was also there. Greg termed this one "gnome sized" because he is only about 5 feet across.
Back in 2003 on my honeymoon in Tahiti I had the experience of seeing the Manta's on a day snorkel and I could just make out the outline of their large bodies far below me.
When I learned about this excursion, I knew I had to get to Kona to see this. They have been drawing the manta's to this area(Kona) for the purpose of tourism for quite some time.
I have no information confirming this in any way but I worry that at some point they will stop doing this for the safety of these beings. I know some of them can get bruised by running into people and their equipment. There are stupid people that try to touch them. Manta's have a protective coating on their bodies and our body products, etc. can be harmful to them. I wanted to see them just in case they stop doing this in the future.
We booked the excursion through Kona Honu Divers.
I took this video with a little waterproof Sanyo video camera. You don't have to be a scuba diver to enjoy and be blown away by this excursion.
These animals are very curious and gentle beings. They are truly remarkable.