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Manta Rays at Night (Kona, Hawaii)

I have been diving with the manta rays in Bali and Komodo (Indonesia). Each of encounter with them was an evanescent experience, however, I kept remembering the excitement feeling to see them in the wild. Thus, as we visited Kona, the Big Island of Hawai’i, we also booked a scuba diving trip to see the manta rays. The only thing that differs to the manta rays diving in Indonesia: the manta rays diving in Kona was organized at the night time. It was also offered for snorkelers – imagine being in the sea at night just to see the manta rays!

Manta Ray in Kona (Big Island, Hawaii)

The scuba diving and snorkeling were organized nicely. We had a long briefing about manta rays, its conservation and how to deal with them. The briefing was more or less similar to what I wrote in the blog post: Majestic Manta Rays – Facts, Threats, Images & Video. Hawai’ian’s name for the manta ray is “hahalua” and the Hawai’ians respect the manta rays as a living creature with a high hierarchy in the sea.

As we were about to descend into the dark seawater, a manta ray went up, came close to the snorkelers who stayed above. The manta ray did back flip acrobatic move!  It was a good start! We left the snorkelers above the surface and we were descending to ten meters depth where we had to sit in a circle with a box of underwater lights lighted up in the middle. It’s just like a campfire but under the water.

Then we saw several manta rays were swimming above us. Some of them were swimming very close to us and some were back flipping, showing off how great acrobats they could be. I felt like we were the judges who had to pick which one was the best acrobat of all. Nevertheless, all got A+ from me!

Would you like to see how the manta rays flip back underwater? Check out the following cool video from Manta Ray Advocates who joined us as well on that night. Manta Ray Advocates have been campaigned through their study, videos, and images to raise awareness on the manta rays’ conservation in Hawaii. Luckily, Dutchie and I were in their video, can you guess which ones were us? 😉


    • It was! I think they are smart animals and somehow they would like to play with us..they love to stay around when seeing scuba divers 🙂 It’s hard not to like the manta 🙂

    • Thank you so much for letting me know about the video. Something wrong with the previous one that I uploaded. I hope this one will work! Yes, the manta rays are soo elegant and gentle creature too 🙂 ❤

  1. Hi Indah, you have always been a wonderful underwater photographer but doing that in the dead of the night and in the picture dark under water needs gumption, it needs skill and it needs the patience and it needs the power to face the forces and get the the best shot taken. The way you have described it is so exciting and sparingly so scary when you under water and it is dark, and you are searching for the rays, the Manta Rays…it would have great watching them making those brilliant acrobatic moves and rarely one has chance to witness such movements. The black and white pictures of Manta Rays looks awesome…

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