Arguably one of the best experiences a diver could ever have is to dive with giant oceanic manta rays. We are lucky to see them regularly during our cruises both in Thailand and Myanmar and happily participate to their research and preservation whenever we can.
Although they are protected in international waters and by laws of certain countries, they often travel through unregulated waters and are still being fished in many places 😔
This week we had the chance to welcome onboard Jamie leader of Thailand Manta Project, we could share with us and our guests through daily lectures invaluable information about Manta rays in the area.
Groups of long nose mixed with trevally were hunting all over the rock and a big school of barracudas could be seen hanging out in the bay. Unfortunately we dont have many photos this week but we have a video and its worth a thousand words!
After Surin National Park, we moved south towards Similan National Park where we met the star of this manta ray expedition a very special Melanistic Oceanic manta ray (black). It was pleasure for all but even more so for Jamie who could add it to her Manta Trust Database and we were the first to record it. Yeah! One new manta for the Database! And we were so proud to name her Joony, the magic black Manta!
Such an amazing creature! She is so elegant and beautiful. Seeing was like a dream come true!
A quick glimpse would have been nice, albeit frustrating but she graced us with her presence for the whole dive!
We were also very lucky to spot a gorgeous mobulas ray on our blue water dive near the end of the continental shelf… Of course this being a Manta Expedition, everyone was delighted by these two graceful rays but they were not the only cool things we saw on this 9 days/ 8 nights cruise: we were able to observe a leopard shark, blacktip reef sharks, a HUGE giant grouper (about 100kg!), octopus, very fishy divesites and beautiful coral reefs in warm and crystalline blue waters
And on the last dive of the cruise, we met this lovely Leopard shark! How cool!!!
Thanks to our lovely guests for choosing to dive with us, it was wonderful sharing this adventure with you all!
Hope to see you again very soon!
Do you dream of diving alongside these gentle giants? Our next Manta expeditions will be in MYANMAR next April (2024)! Join The Smiling Seahorse, a manta trust approved operator, and dive with us and Jamie around Mergui Archipelago!