Friday, September 19, 2008

Big Black Fish

A highlight of the afternoon was a dive along a reef that culminated in us "hooking on" to the reef in a strong current while "big, black fish" came to check us out. I'm not entirely clear why the dive guide didn't want to say what kind of big, black fish we might bee seeing. I guess either he didn't want to jinx us, or he wanted the nature of the fish to be a surprise.

In any case, after swimming along the reef for a bit, we swooped up through a gully into shallow water and grabbed onto pieces of dead coral rock. As the current rushed by, we scanned for big, black fish.

And then, they came: Manta rays. At least four of them, about 5-6 feet across. They would swim up through our streams of bubbles, almost close enough that we could touch them. Then they'd open up their mouths and float back on the current, feeding as they went. It was great, and went on, over and over, for about half an hour. We had a blast.

Later, some folks went back to snorkel at the same site. They had some good encounters, but only when there were also divers in the waters. They appear to really like the bubbles. When the divers were gone, the mantas still played and fed in the current, but farther away from the people.

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