Marine Biologist Miguel Meets his First Manta

What a day!
My first liveaboard experience ever! I’m a marine biologist, and I’ve been working with giant manta identification for almost two years, but, until today, I had never seen one of them in person. We did a first check-out dive, with little expectations about it, but SURPRISE, we had an amazing dive. Green sea turtles, huge stingrays, white tip sharks, silver tips, scalloped hammerheads, a baby tiger shark and blacktip reef sharks. First time seeing most of them, but still, no mantas. We started our second dive in El Boiler on San Benedicto. It was filled with sharks, a group of dolphins, and five minutes before I had to make my safety stop, I hear a weird sound, it was the divemaster calling us. And there it was: a beautiful animal, a majestic MANTA, the first one in my life. My heart started beating fast, my breath was taken away, my eyes and mind hypnotized. The best experience of my life, I finally saw my dream in front of me, a moment I have taught about a thousand times, and it came true, I was not dreaming. It was an amazing moment and an amazing day, something I will never forget.
–Miguel Gutierrez, Marine Biologist

Another amazing day.
Today I did my first dive in a beautiful spot, a small rock in the middle of nowhere, the famous and well known “Roca Partida.” When you see it from the outside, some might think is not that big of a deal, but it is just the tip of the iceberg. A huge sea mount that exposes just a little bit of its beauty. As soon as I got in the water I travelled to a new world. Amazing visibility, filled with pelagic fish all over the place, big jacks, wahoos, yellowfin tunas, Galapagos Sharks and majestic Mantas. I am doing some fish monitoring for a research project at my university, but I got all crazy because I could not write down all the different fish species. I was amazed at everything I saw, and suddenly, the cherry on the top of the cake appeared. A giant of the blue room, an enormous whale shark. I got to swim right beside her, and it was a beautiful pregnant 37ft female. Another amazing day at the best diving location in the world with the Nautilus crew.
–Miguel Gutierrez, Marine Biologist


📷 By Howard Hall

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