Earlier this month, I was lucky enough to go on Kona’s famous manta ray night dive/snorkel. I was accompanied by Mr. Reeftraveler as well as my sister-in-law and brother-in-law. We dove with Captain Nancy of Dolphin Journeys.
Mantas are seen almost nightly on this shallow dive which takes place at 30 feet (10 m). Bright lights, which attract plankton, are positioned on the sea floor as well as on the surface. Mantas then arrive to feed on the plankton. Various dive boats convene at the site, and on any given night there may be up to 70 or more divers and snorkelers viewing this phenomenon from above and below. The dive is fairly structured, and divers are instructed to form a semicircle on the rocky bottom.
Making sure to cover all angles, I snorkeled while the others dove. Snorkeling proved to be a good choice, as only one manta showed up for dinner, and it remained near the surface almost the entire time.
Here is a silhouette of the manta with lights shining from above.
The manta briefly dove below to check out the food situation from about 15 feet.
This large moray eel came out to visit the divers.
Here’s a very short video of the manta, which I shot with my Olympus TG-1 with Fisheye lens.
For more information on Kona’s manta rays-