Rated among the Top 10 Dive Sites around the World by almost every dive publication and every Scuba website online is the Manta Ray Night Dive in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. AquaViews takes a closer look into what makes this dive site so special, but first, take a look at this video-
*Video by Big Island Divers
Big Island Manta Ray Night off Kona’s Coast Hawaii, is the coolest night dive, its like being in a lighted Aquarium at night. The divers site on the bottom in 30ft of water and the snorkelers float on top. The last Manta you see is Big Bertha at about 16ft!! A must do dive/snorkel event!
The Kona Coast is one of the best places in the world to get up close and personal with manta rays. Often described as an experience of lifetime when one chances on one of these magnificent creatures, dive operators in Hawaii plate up this experience with night dive twist making it just spectacular.
With no teeth, the harmless Manta Rays are plankton eating rays with approximately 12 ft wingspans. Although massive in size, they are known to have one of the most graceful and mesmerizing presence of all sea creatures and are an absolute joy to dive with.
Divers are given underwater flashlights and are directed to point their beams towards the surface. The bright lights attract hordes of plankton which in turn bring the mantas as well as a ton of other fish to the vicinity. Much to the delight of divers and snorkelers even the manta rays often swoop, turn and even somersault towards the light where the plankton is plentiful displaying the surprising agility of this creature. More than 60 individual Mantas identified by spots on their underside, have been photographed, cataloged and named as regulars on the Manta Ray Night Dives.
Touching the Mantas are a strict NO-NO. These creatures have incredibly fragile skin and with a view to keep this tradition utmost care must be taken not to harm them at all. Strict guidelines and instructions that divers must stay down and snorkeler at the surface giving the rays sufficient room to maneuver is critical. The point is to observe this magnificent animal and not play with them.
Silhouetted above you as you sit on the sandy ocean bottom, shining your dive light up towards the surface a vision that will forever be etched in your memory, this is a world class dive you just cannot miss!