I was a bit intimidated to go out for the first night, and by going out I mean work, but it was nothing less than an amazing night. The boat we went on ran really smoothly and considering I have never seen a manta ray before, I didn't really have high expectations. I can now easily say manta rays are freaking awesome. Seriously. I mean the performance they put on, their size, how close they get to you all made the experience for me, and I'm sure all the tourists on the boat, an amazing one.
Basically, mantas come to that same location because they have been accustomed for the past many years that light means plankton. The plankton tends to surround the light, and the mantas the plankton, therefore the mantas seem as though they are eating the light. So what happens is the boat shines a flood light down onto the ocean, there are the lights from the videographer's camera, my boss, and then they create this long raft out of noodles that each of the snorkelers holds onto, which also has lights shining down on the mantas.
Works cannot even describe what an amazing experience it was. Pictures were nearly impossible to take, but like I said earlier, I can look at them now with an open mind and see the potential they have because they certainly are intriguing, even if you have no idea what any of them are showing. Here are some of my favorites of the night..remember people, open mind. The pictures, with the help of the light and the color of the water, honestly look like stills out of a sci-fi movie. Ohhh, I love the ocean, especially at night.
okay, not a manta, but pretty water color-esque fish
can you see the manta? oh, and ps, in case it is not obvious - all the little specs my camera is picking up, that's the plankton. There was a ton that night..
can't decide if I should tell you what this one is or not, or if it's even really obvious, but I think I'll let you guys decide..
I forgot to mention on of the coolest things about mantas..they are giant. The two from this night ranged in size, the biggest one about 7-8 ft wing tip to wing tip. It's pretty amazing to have something like that so close to you and something that size be so majestic in the water. During the briefing on the boat, they warn you the mantas come really close, though your masks do make everything look bigger and closer than they really are. Anyway, they look as if they will touch you, and one actually brushed up against me. Here's the best video clip of mine from that night..
See what I mean? I wasn't lying when I said they got close and they're amazing. ahhh..incredible