Manta season is on
Manta season is always a reason for excitement, not only for tourists but also for us, diving instructors and guides. Here in Baa Atoll, the expectation is even bigger as we have Hanifaru Bay at our door step (yes, we are the closest resort to it and I am literally looking at it as I am writing this article).
For the ones who are not familiar with the name, let me explain the reason for such enthusiasm. Hanifaru Bay is located in Baa atoll, Maldives, and it is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and the largest known manta feeding aggregation site in the world.
In May, when the weather changes, and the South West Monsoon kicks in, the good visibility days slowly dwindle as we start to get a lot of plankton in the water. It is a very good sign, as it precedes the so expected arrival of the manta rays and whale sharks.
This year, we started the season attending a workshop presented by Manta Trust on May 2nd. It brought together some of the guides, diving instructors, marine biologists and rangers from Baa atoll. There, we had the chance to brush up on our manta knowledge and review the guidelines for Hanifaru Bay.
On the 4th, we decided to open the season and run our first 2018 snorkel trip to Hanifaru Bay. We knew the chances of seeing them this early in the season were very small. I even believe we were the first resort to venture out there this year. It paid off though, against all odds we saw the first manta of the season! The few snorkelers who decided to take the risk and join us, couldn’t have been any happier! For some of them, including Seychelle, a 7 years old girl, it was the first manta they’ve seen in the wild. A truly unforgettable experience!
Maldivian Manta Ray Conservation Diver
We are also happy to announce that we have a new PADI distinctive specialty to offer during this 2018 manta season.
In this course, you will learn more about the biology and behavior of these gentle giants. It also includes 2 dives, where we will try to find some mantas and photograph their belly. Did you know that each manta has a unique pattern of spots on their ventral surface (belly)? It is like our fingerprint! You will learn more about it during the course.
With the photo in hand, or better saying, on screen, we will go through a database to try to identify the individual manta. Sounds like a lot of fun, right?