http://www.blogger.com/logout.g Lex Petros: Day 7: Manta Point, Paradise Island

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Day 7: Manta Point, Paradise Island

September 1st
Our 2nd day a Giraavaru Island Resort...early in the morning...and we assembled at Planeta Divers for a dive which later proved to be one of the most memorable one in our lives...we were going to see Manta Rays (Manta birostris or Giant Manta) at Manta Point located near the reef plateau of Paradise Island...the trip is approximately 70 minutes from Giravaaru due east...past the Feydhoo Canyon...our dive boat, the 'Reef 2' (pictured on the right) was our transport...a typical petrol powered dhoni...on route...Jutta, our guide gave us our briefing and we were on our way...just laid back to relax and enjoy the cool ocean breeze...heaven!

Maldivian dive instructor and South Afircan Liz Gomes was there to ensure we had all our safety practice in place...the dive was simple enough...just enter the water, go wait at the 'Manta cleaning station' at 13 metres on a flat plateau for the Mantas to come get their bodies 'cleaned' by cleaner fish of sorts...to remove any unwanted barnacles and stuff growing on their skin...

What we had to do at the 'Manta cleaning station' was to wait ...and wait...for those magnificient ocean gliders to descend upon us...

Lo and behold...like out of oblivion...these heavenly creatures emerged...1, 2 , 3 and finally, a 4th joined in the orgy of Mantas, all swimming around each other, occassionally breaking formation and interacted with each other again...one of these babies must have spanned at least 5 meters!!
The Mantas' dance was just mesmerizing...I was so captured by them...I started to drift closer and closer to their space, until Jutta pulled me back by my fin...it was just awesome...makes you think of God's amazing creations...
Then, one of the gentle giants came closer to us...as if curious with the entourage of air-breathing creatures we are...they glided just right pass our heads...the picture above depicts how close one of them came...check out the remoras at the base of the other one...
I think we stayed there for almost 20 minutes and my camera shutters were never idle...I really wanted to remain down there forever!!

8 Commentsjavascript:void(0):

Anonymous Asther said...

I want!!!

12:29 AM  
Blogger aindhy said...

ME TOO!!!

You should rename the post 'Day 7: Up close and personal with the Mantas'

Did you guys here about some morons going all psycho on sting rays?

I like(d) Steve as much as the next guy... BUT... sheesh.... the world is full of extremist/terrorists!

Shame...

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