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Manta Rays: SCUBA or Snorkel?

st. louis, mo
Level Contributor
11 posts
2 reviews
Manta Rays: SCUBA or Snorkel?

I have friends doing the snorkel for the manta rays and I'm torn between diving vs snorkeling... Thoughts?

Kona, Hawaii
Level Contributor
4,239 posts
5 reviews
1. Re: Manta Rays: SCUBA or Snorkel?

Some boats allow both snorkel and diving.

st. louis, mo
Level Contributor
11 posts
2 reviews
2. Re: Manta Rays: SCUBA or Snorkel?

yeah, i saw that. just was wondering which was the better experience. wasn't sure if there was much to the scuba portion and i should save money and be with my friends..

Palm Springs...
Level Contributor
11,470 posts
126 reviews
3. Re: Manta Rays: SCUBA or Snorkel?

The scuba portion is and will always be the best position.

As a note, this acivity has exploded in the number of boats and people doning this. There are now huge boats that can carry 50+ people along eith the smaller 10 to 20 boats. Too there is the nightly manta rey dinner cruise boat that also comes.

Several years ago there were maybe 10 to 20 people tops doing it with 1 maybe 2 boats..... Now its a theater of the absurd... Because of the economy people are looking at any way they can to make money and the Manta thing is cheap to run....

The situation has now reached critical mass... a tipping point, where mantas are being defacto fed by people and hibituated from being wild. The same with the Dolphins. Wildllife experts and studies suggest this is not the thing to do. Forcing , or training wild animals to perform for humans pleasure, is not very healthy for them.

I feel that at this present time, adding to this explosion will prove very harmful to the mantas as it has for the dolphins ( 50% reduction in the past 5 years) I think the time is here to consider that participating on these " adventures" is going to have an adverse effect sooner than later.

The question remains, will you help and participate in a potentialy very harmful activity.... and yes it has reached that level with the" manta tours".

I ask you ponder the gravity of your personal wants and what they could mean for the future

Wild animals are always best observed form a distance.. where they can be observed in the wild.. As it is now the manta trips have reached the level of a circus side show.........

oklahoma city
Level Contributor
1,476 posts
4 reviews
4. Re: Manta Rays: SCUBA or Snorkel?

I will be in the big I next month am going diving one day, was also thinking of doing the night manta dive, not sure whether to do it or not. You just made up my mind, Dan. Thanks.

Reedsport, Oregon
Level Contributor
4,067 posts
45 reviews
5. Re: Manta Rays: SCUBA or Snorkel?

We went on Sea Paradise in Keauhou Bay last year. We did the snorkeling and loved it. Even if I was SCUBA certified I would do the snorkel. First off I wouldn't have to worry about damaging coral below. Next when on the surface you lie there and just look down. Very comfortable. The divers had to look up the whole time and I know I wouldn't want to put my neck through that. Some have said they get closer to the divers than the snorkelers. I'm here to say that's not true. We had Manta's literally inches from us. The two we watched were about 9ft. which translates to about 900lbs. They would come so close that when they passed they would push you up with the water pressure from their fly-by. And we were the only boat there.

Palm Springs...
Level Contributor
11,470 posts
126 reviews
6. Re: Manta Rays: SCUBA or Snorkel?

Thanks Bob....I hope others take the time to ponder over the gravity of their wants and desires VS the potential harm and damage that they may cause.

Last year the economy was more up... with todays down turn ever operation is feeling the squeeze and are turning to any potential source of income.

Even the Fairwinds is now doing the Manta Thing! Then recently Blue Sea cruises started a dinner/show / manta tour too..... What was last year in not now..... Same with the " dolphin" tours.

You wont be alone today.... one or 2 years ago maybe yes.

Just a side note....A month or so ago a snorkel failed to return from area off the Kona Makai condos where He was snorkeling with friends... no trace... but several days later some bone fragments washed up and a piece of torn wetsuit.

The police are thinking that it appears the man was possible hit by a boat and run over. On interest is that this was in an area where some of the dolphin tours go and roar around to get at the dolphns.... This guy might have been in the way...

No word.. from the police... who are still working on who shot "JR".

oklahoma city
Level Contributor
1,476 posts
4 reviews
7. Re: Manta Rays: SCUBA or Snorkel?

A little ot dan but if you dive or maybe even if you don't any recs regarding kona dive shops? I am a newly certified diver, in April this year, never have dived hawaii before. Thanks.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
153 posts
44 reviews
8. Re: Manta Rays: SCUBA or Snorkel?

You definitely want to scuba dive! It is an amazing feeling having them buzz right over your head almost touching you. Nothing can beat that.

However, if you are a little leery of being 20+ feet under in the evening, this may not be for you. They do lower lights down, and you should be provided a light for yourself too. So, it is not like you are sitting in complete dark. It is like a city down there. That being said, when you ascend, you will be going up in more darkness. You have to veer out of the lighted way with the rays so they do not get tangled up with you. Again, it is not black dark, but a little disorientating.

Also keep in mind, the eels come out. If you have a good divemaster, they will make sure you do not have an issue. I recommend going with Ocean Eco Tours out of the Honokohau(spelling?) harbor. Small boats, intimate number of people, and a great trip. You can snorkel if you are not comfortable with the dive.

Have fun! Enjoy!

Akron, Ohio
2 posts
9. Re: Manta Rays: SCUBA or Snorkel?

I just got back from Kona and did the manta night dive with Fairwinds. It was an awesome experience and I would highly recommend it. The snorkelers in our group actually had a more personal experience with the mantas than the scuba divers as the mantas tend to do barrell rolls near the surface to get at the plankton. There were times I literally had to suck in to avoid touching them. We had a great viewing night, there must have been 7-10 with us at all times ranging from 4 ft to 12 ft across. It was most assuredly the highlight of my trip to Hawaii. The Fairwind folks are top notch - I can't say enough about them. They were very concerned about everyone's safety and enjoyment as well as informing you all about the mantas as well. Don't miss it - it is an experience of a lifetime.

Kapaa, Hawaii
Level Contributor
52,717 posts
3 reviews
10. Re: Manta Rays: SCUBA or Snorkel?

It's too bad they didn't think more about the well being of the manta's than the humans.

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