There is nothing more amazing than interacting with mantas in the ocean depths. They are friendly and will check you out to see what you are doing in their domain. They will surround you, swim so close beneath you that your fins might touch them, and once they have had their fill, they will disappear into the dark blue.
Here is my story of some amazing interactions with the mantas at Cabo Pearce.
A Surreal Experience with the Mantas
Back rolling off a skip and descending directly upon a giant manta is what dreams are made of for the adventure-seekers. And this is what happened to me precisely as I started my dive. My hands fumbled for my Go-Pro as this gorgeous animal circled our group while we continued to our dive site Cabo Pearce.
The water was warm and cozy, but a bit murky as we entered late afternoon. It is so hard to take our eyes off a manta that glides smoothly around us, checking us out, while we mortals desperately capture the footage to remember for a lifetime. Eventually, it gracefully swims away and we continue our dive.
Immediately after the manta drifted into the blue, we see quite a few whitetip sharks and even more supposedly sleeping at the bottom. The rock formations are quite astonishing to study as well while we look for more life.
As we swim about the dive site, another whitetip shark turns up and studies me closely so I switch on my video yet again. Then, another manta appears out of nowhere and directly blocks my field of view. I quickly tap my buddy to point it out and as we watch, it swims right underneath her, almost touching her fins.
As we approached our safety stop on the last dive of the day, a manta came out of the blue. It had to be 10 feet across. As it circled, another emerged to join the dance. We swirled in tandem until a third, the largest of all, took the lead. They circled within a few feet of us for nearly 10 minutes. These are moments that make the whole trip worth the effort.
After 8 dives, I am still in a state of wonder as to how interactive the mantas can be with us human beings. Ours has been a trip that will be etched in our memories for a long time to come.
Remarkable Support from the Nautilus Explorer Crew
Diving or exploring below the ocean surface is just half the fun, without the excellent support from the staff and crew on board, our trip would have come to naught. From Day 1, they make you feel like family. And I feel that I should mention and thank each one by name and acknowledge the part they played to make our experience so beautiful, right from the friendly captain to the accommodating crew.
The Nautilus Explorer has some of the best dive masters one could hope for in such an isolated part of the world. From Elise, who helped my dive group through our first dive (she worked tirelessly to make sure that everyone was comfortable underwater) to L.T. who led us along a lava finger where we were greeted by four playful mantas elegantly dancing alongside us. Fabio, a new crew member in the Nautilus family was great at pointing out all the wildlife that may be just behind you!
Then there is Joan, cool as a cucumber underwater, who is great at calming your nerves and keeping you diving to enjoy the swarms of sharks that pass close by. Pascal talks with such passion about the mantas and sharks that you will encounter that you can´t help but be mesmerized by him!
Overall, a very wonderful experience and I hope to be back someday!