Ascend into a Giant Manta Ray

Location: The Canyon, San Benedicto Island, Revillagigedos

Comments: I think that we sometimes forget the basics of our scuba diving training ie. before ascending always look up, reach up, go up. One of our guests forgot all this on one of his morning dives and was surprised as heck to ascend right into a giant manta ray that was hovering above him. The diver had no idea the manta was there and had the surprise of his life when he bumped head first into 4000 lbs of manta!

We are anchored today at the Canyon on San Benedicto Island and the diving has been very good. My first priority was to splash in and make sure that Lumpy, the over friendly leather bass with the broken jaw, was ok. Sure enough, there was Lumpy, hanging out at the cleaning station, swimming from diver to diver, eagerly approaching everyone face on and seemingly begging to be stroked. I really wonder about Lumpy…

Three different mantas were observed today and a number of divers experienced some very close and intimate encounters with them. The neatest thing for me was the silvertip sharks. I counted seven animals circling around and around the cleaning station. A group of 8 of us hunkered down in the rocks and the silvertips repeatedly circled around in a 20-foot radius, coming within about 10 feet of the divers. I didn’t detect any feeding or cleaning behaviour and was quite puzzled by the whole thing, especially as the silvertips continued their circling behaviour as we left the area.

Even cooler was looking up to see another group of 10 silvertip sharks circling around 30 feet overhead and darting in, out and through a large school of jacks. It looked as if the silvertips were preying on the jacks, although I didn’t think that they did that. All in all, a great day of diving.

–Captain Mike


Weather: Clear skies, sunny, light winds, calm seas, 81°F air temperature

Water: Visibility 80 feet on the first dive and then steadily dropping all day, water temperature 74°F.

By Nautilus Staff

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