Indonesia: Raja Ampat + Bali - March 2012
Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text:
Manta Sandy is the most famous dive site in Raja Ampat. Normal, it is a real "spa" with manta rays! The proof in pictures and video.
I'm a spoiled rotten diver. I have already met the mantas of Koh Bon (Thailand), the mantas of Nusa Penida (Bali), the mantas of Sangalaki (Borneo), the mantas of Komodo (Flores) ... Progressive and inexorable rise in power.
Manta rays are like that: the more you see, the more you want... Better not to start. After that, it is impossible to stop! And on top of that, you have to increase the doses.
As a result, I am now completely addicted to manta rays of Raja Ampat !
Despite the lack of light that afternoon in March 2012 (gray skies and late day), my Canon 7D did pretty well.
Fortunately, we made two dives on the site... My battery ran out at the first one! I was "obliged", for once, to fully enjoy the show only with my eyes, without any lens in front.
Manta ray cleaning station
Why such a concentration of manta rays at this place? In fact, the beautiful giants of the sea come here to get rid of their parasites and dirt by small cleaning fish.
It is a spa, I tell you! A much more elegant term than "cleaning station"... The manta rays also take advantage of it to gobble up plankton, when the current is there.
See also ➜ All my dives with manta rays
Anyway, anyway. The site of Manta Sandy is a joy for divers!
You just have to land quietly on the sandy bottom, between 15 and 20 meters deep, at a respectful distance, and admire the show.
Above the coral potatoes, dozens and dozens of mantas keep spinning ...
They never stop coming out of the blue, turning over the coral, disappearing, to reappear without warning, on all sides. They seem to be always more numerous. They pass and pass again, rubbing themselves against our bubbles, not at all frightened.
Some of them, more curious, even come to leer at me from very very close. They slow down, graze me, hover for a moment above my head, then move away in a graceful flapping of fins. It is incredible!!!
Once the initial excitement is over, the fascination remains. One never tires of contemplating this endless and splendid underwater carousel.
But the clock is ticking, the bars in the bottles are spinning, the decorations are coming...
So we have to resign ourselves to go back up. Slowly, quietly, by accomplishing in our turn slow circles towards the surface, to continue to enjoy, until the end, this fabulous view on the spiral of the mantas.
Of course, everybody "dries" his tank on dives like these...
To my eyes as a diver, there is no more beautiful sight than a manta ray swimming... The manta surpasses all other underwater creatures in grace. The combination of elegance and power is irresistible.
I measure my luck, to have been able, there again, to attend such a ballet. And I'm not the only one... Everyone has stars in their eyes when they get back on the boat!
Manta Sandy is a really exceptional site. Mantas are guaranteed at 95%. It also has the advantage of being easier to dive than the neighboring site, Manta Ridge, as it is a little less exposed to the current.
But what is extraordinary in Raja Ampat is that even on sites that are not "manta points", it is not uncommon to come across one or two mantas, at random, especially on dives on the well named Blue Magic... Think of raising your nose when you are stuck to a nudibranch or a pygmy seahorse!
→ To see all the articles about my dives at Raja Ampat : one click here !