KONA, Hawaii // Last night I died and went to Manta Heaven. I did my first ever night dive with reef manta rays // one of the largest rays in the world. They weigh up to 2 tons each and have wingspans of up to 16 feet. These manta ray have no barbs on their tail which make them harmless peaceful creatures. This dive, Manta Heaven, is said to be the best night dive in the world and I believe it. They dance backflips through spotlights and swim over your head with only inches to spare. It reminded me of watching a beautiful show like Cirque du Soleil.
We dove with Kona Diving Company. Typically they average 4-10 manta rays a night, and we saw over 20, plus a dolphin. The dive master said this was one of the best nights he has ever seen. The dive is only 40 feet deep and just off the Kona airport coast. The manta rays come here to eat plankton which is attracted to the lights the scuba divers set up. They use large pectoral fins on either side of their mouth for feeding. The plankton enter the large mouth area and the water filters out through 5 gill slits on either side of the mouth. If you have ever thought about getting scuba certified you should do so just so you can do this dive. It was a truly priceless experience.
GoPro video footage of the dive coming soon!