Manta Rays

We have moved to a buoy field next to the pass, close to a manta ray protection area. The big rays come there apparently every day to get some grooming from the little cleaning brigade fishies. Unfortunately visibility wasn’t great, so when we went snorkeling in that area, we could only see the outlines of the rays far below us in about 10 metres. We therefore got our scuba gear out and dived down to the bottom, trying not to lose our orientation in the murky water. After about 10 minutes of searching in circles we found a coral head where a small manta was getting some personal hygiene. He then glided away, only to reappear soon after in the company of 5 huge friends :-)
What an experience to have 2 to 4 metre wide animals gracefully “fly” by on their black and white wings. They seem to be used to divers, inspected us curiously with their wideset eyes from only a sleevelength away.
Unfortunately the condition of the coral here in Maupiti isn’t better than in the other Society Islands and tourist boats are hustling through the protected zone. We can only hope that the mantas will continue to come to their cleaning stations in the future.

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