Manta DanceEpic epic night dive, every time I see these photos I get taken back to that magical interaction with such a gorgeous creature!
Magical MantaOn this dive the mantas were in no rush to leave. Infact we left before they did :)
Manta Ray, Fesdu Lagoon, MaldivesGorgeous manta ray during a night dive at Fesdu Lagoon. Absolutely epic dive.
Open WideThis is the closest that I have been to becoming a dentist. The vizibility was horrible so excuse the excessive photoshop :)
Manta Ray View from The BottomTowards the end of that dive I had a fantastic little moment when the whole group left but I stuck around and stayed at about 5 metrs for around 3-4 minutes with this beauty. Magical.
Fesdu Lagoon - Legendary Night Dive in the maldives
After having been in the Maldives for the 9th time on this last visit onboard MV Leo I can safely say that I can sum up my experiences so far and conclude that easily the most epic experience I have had in this beautiful country is the ‘Fesdu Lagoon’ Manta Night Dive.
The combination of multiple factors makes this dive a truly incredible experience.
But let me start from the beginning.
The way that it works is, the boat parks in a lagoon, which is known to be inhabited by a family of manta rays and turns on flood lights at the back of the boat.
This in turn attracts a thick soup of plankton which in turn more often that not becomes an unresistable buffet for the local mantas who begin emphatically feeding at the back of the boat.
Once the mantas get comfortable, the dive guide will collect all the torches and build a circular stage immediately below the facing downward flood flight by sticking the turned on, upward facing torches into the sand.
This will be the final step in creating an irresistible 5 star dinner for the mantas and solidify their comfort level.
The last step is for all the divers to kit up, descend and plot down on their knees in a circle, around the circle of lights.
And the show begins.
The first thing that makes this experience incredible is the visual aesthetic of the low night light, contrasted with the lights from the flood light above and the circular stage below. It truly looks very theatrical.
The second thing that makes this experience incredible is the actors. Originally I had thought that the epic barrel rolls of the manta rays are something done just for show, but turns out its their way of feeding themselves.
The behaviour of the animals is completely different at night, and their desire to feed overcomes any possible misgivings they have about our silly human race.
They come as close as physically possible without trespassing into the molestation zone.
An hour of barrel rolls, epic glides across, in an out of the area and over the head of every diver in the circle seems to last a lot less then an hour.
Towards the end of the dive, once the dive guide has removed all the torches and most of the divers have gone up, I lingered a little big longer doing approximately a 7 minute, 5 metre safety stop and got rewarded with a lovely final performance.
Overall, this is one of the best dives I have ever had in my life and I highly recommend that anyone coming on a live aboard dive trip to the Maldives to pursue this.
The best way to do this, is to show everyone onboard the boat this article and lobby up the support for adding it to the itinerary.
Often, the cruise directors will be reluctant to pursue this dive site, simply because if the mantas do not come, there isn’t an alternative for a night dive and will result in a boat full of unhappy people. If they do come however, it will be the best diving experience that can be had in this beautiful jewel of the Indian ocean.
P.s: both the times that I was on a boat that tried this dive the mantas came.
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Thoughts on the recent nationwide ban on manta fishing. Part two of the series.
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