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Manta Ray Ballet

Posted by: Kim Steutermann Rogers
Destination: Hawaii Island
Nov 11, 2008

If I am ever abducted by aliens, I hope they are as gentle and peaceful as manta rays.

I have long wanted to dive with the manta rays off the coast of Big Island. In Hawaii, dive operators claim the experience is the number one night dive in the world, and I have heard many stories about it. How the manta ray gatherings started when a hotel discovered that the spotlights it beamed into the ocean at night attracted the behemoth creatures. How manta rays fly through the water as graceful as ballerinas. How the week before my dive a humpback whale joined the dance, followed by a small school of spinner dolphins.

Other stories make my skin shiver. Like the one about Frankie. With his ever-gaping maw revealing rows of jagged teeth, Frankie is a moray eel. He lives at Garden Eel Cove, our dive site. Frankie feeds at night, weaving himself through legs and wending his way around divers as they sit stationery on the ocean’s bottom and shine dive lights to attract plankton—the food of manta rays.

To read my complete story of swimming with manta rays, click here

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