September 21, 2004

Birthday present: Mantas

I had a pleasant surprise today as there were quite a good number of mantas today, especially appreciated as a birthday present. This did not stop here, as the whole Sangalaki staff surprisingly came during the evening singing a happy birthday to me and Aima (Ron's wife) offered me a birthday present as well. Thank you so much for the nice attention !

We spent quite some time snorkeling with the mantas (they don't really like bubbles) but I find that unless some individuals that I have seen in other locations, they are more afraid when coming straight at us and feeding.

In South Africa for instance, mantas did not really care about my presence and were literally passing over me, sometimes even requesting being touched. In Sangalaki, it is challenging to take a shot upfront with mouth open as it is too far for any effective shot, they usually dive or turn a few meters from you. Bad past experiences ?

A sad sightseeing as well, as you can see from a picture I saw a black manta that obviouslly run into a fishing line. She had 2 hooks in the right wing and the fishing line wrapped over her wing and mandibule, as well as apparent flesh at the back. Sadly I did not have any knife to attempt anything.

Ron told me he has seen her last year, she looked like in bad shape by then and thought she would die. He did not have a knife either

#15: Location: Manta Avenue, SI: 15h31min, Max. Depth: 13.7m, Time: 66min
#16: Location: Cleaning Station, SI: 0h42min, Max. Depth: 13.3m, Time: 76min
#17: Location: Lighthouse, SI: 3h13min, Max. Depth: 11.6m, Time: 63min

A turtle attempt at having a bungalow collapse :) Cargo boat at Sangalaki Sangalaki dive lodge Sangalaki Map Kakaban map Manta ray - manta birostris - Manta ray - manta birostris - Manta ray - manta birostris - Manta ray - manta birostris - Snorkeler and manta ray - manta birostris - A badly wounded manta ray - It has 2 hooks on the right wing and the fishing line wrapped around her body :-( Manta ray - Manta birostris - circling A nice black manta ray, notice the sea surface: it is raining Sweetlips Blackspotted pufferfish - Arothron nigropunctatus - A nice coral formation with the lighthouse in the background White banded cleaner shrimp - Lysmata amboinensis - Sunset at the Lighthouse

Posted by stephane at September 21, 2004 05:22 PM

That was a great day.

Posted by: Mike Stallings on October 14, 2004 07:38 PM