As good as it gets

31 Jan 2011

There’s plenty of fish in the sea. Some of them are overlooked, some admired briefly, some make you want to play peekaboo with them for hours. And then – there’s manta rays.

Kuredu boasts an iconic long white stretch of sand that is impressive in itself. But currently the very mention of the sandbank is sufficient to bring excitement to both snorkelers and divers alike (admittedly, to Prodivers staff, too) due to daily manta ray sightings. We’ve been doing our sums and we have seen approximately 170 mantas so far in January during 25 sightings – that’s an average of about 7 mantas each time!  Our divers have been getting in for a swim with them before heading off to their dive sites, and we’ve also had dedicated full day trips looking for them; and of course our Manta Ray Specialty course for our snorkelers has been very busy.  The mantas are so nearby – all but one of our sightings being within a 20 minute boat ride of the island – that we have been seeing them from most of our half day trips too, making them a lot more accessible.

The joy of diving or snorkeling with mantas is difficult to overstate, as they are amazingly graceful, non-threatening filter feeders that glide peacefully through the water and, if one stays still when around them, often inquisitively approach people. Their feeding habits resemble a coral reef ballet, one of those awe-inspiring sights that everyone wishes for.

But it’s not all fun and games, as you can see from this photo taken by our snorkel guide Karola, life can be pretty tough in the ocean; but of course there’s always new life to rejuvenate the population.

Another snorkel guide, Anna, witnessed a large female being followed around very closely by 5 smaller but insistent males just a few days ago, so hopefully this time next year we will have an extra baby manta to add to our database…

Don’t miss out the new episode of The Last 7 days on Kuredu and admit it – it doesn’t get any better than this.