So, I finally got to swim with the manta rays, twice. The first time, I spent nearly an hour scuba diving with 8 mantas with my friends and 15 minutes doing a (dangerous) solo dive with 3 of them in poor visibility as the manta circled around a cleaning station where little fishies cleaned algae and parasites off the mantas. A few days later, a manta approach my boat once while tuna fishing. I got in the water with them again at a place called Manta Sandy near Palau Mansuar. This time, I freedove with three mantas–which was definitely my favorite way to play with these colossal creatures.
8 mantas trailing one another…can’t really tell because of the poor visibility.
5-8 meters across?
Lastly, I heard stories about manta ray hunters in one village in Alor, Indonesia. I think I’m going to pay a visit to that village in a few months.