Summer is just about to start, and if diving with manta rays is on your summer bucket list this year, you're in for an incredible experience. To make sure that the dive is as fantastic and memorable as you want it to be, there are some areas you'll want to research first, such as the following:
Manta Ray Habits
Knowing the habits of manta rays can help you know the best time of year or underwater area to try and see them. For example, when manta rays mate they get together in larger groups and perform mating rituals such as dances. Their mating season is from December to April, so it could be worth it to plan a winter trip too. Even if you can't get there during the winter, manta rays come to cleaning stations all year to let smaller ocean creatures eat irritating parasites off their skin. The cleaning stations are also a great spot to see multiple manta rays and take stunning photos. Doing your research about these magnificent creatures will help you plan the best trip.
Ideal Locations and Tour Groups
You'd hate to spend all day trying and failing to find a manta ray just to find out that the next island over had manta rays swimming around everywhere. Do your research online and find a reputable company to guide you so that you find the perfect spot to see manta rays and instruct you on what to do during the dive. If you're determined to see a manta ray, you can ask if the company offers a guarantee, letting you come again for free another day if you don't get to see one on your tour.
You might be surprised to know that many manta ray dives actually take place at night. This is because manta rays feed on plankton, and plankton are attracted to light. So tours either take you to feeding areas where there are regular lights stationed in the water, or the divers can also use dive lights to create consistent light where plankton can gather. Then you can sit back and watch as the manta rays gather to feed. In the daytime, there is too much sunlight to do this, hence the popularity of nighttime tours.
Before you go diving with manta rays, you'll want to be aware of the rules and guidelines for staying safe and not disturbing the manta rays. Snorkeling and scuba diving already have lots of rules and regulations that you'll need to follow, but there are more when the manta rays are involved. You must be careful to not splash very much, or else you could scare them off. You also should not ever touch the gentle creatures or even get within ten feet (though they may then swim closer to you). The company doing your diving tour will provide further specific rules and instructions, but it never hurts to be prepared with your own research.
If you've done quality research, this trip is sure to be one you'll never forget. For more information, contact companies that offer tours for diving with manta rays.