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Kona manta ray dive, May 2006


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#1 echeng

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 10:26 AM

I just got back from staffing the Kona Classic this year, and we had an absolutely rockin' manta ray night dive! The operators ID'ed 17 separate mantas.

Posted Image

want videos? go here: (raw footage pulled from Sony Z1U and L&M Bluefin HD). They're relatively small and streamable, so even the likes of Mr. Veitch can see 'em.

http://echeng.com/jo...in-kona-hawaii/
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#2 CamDiver

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 05:32 PM

Eric,
Great stuff to be in the presence of these amazing creatures. having lived three years on Yap I can really understand the feelings of divers interacting with so many of these winged giants. The most I saw in one place at one time on one dive was around 30 individuals, amazing stuff.

The Dance of the Manta Rays feature which appears on the DVD I gave you was the pick of the crop of footage from those three years and will soon be entered into a film festival in the U.S. Just re-editing it as the original was put together with very little post treatment.

Hope all is well,
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#3 echeng

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 05:37 PM

Hey, Mark:

Yeah, on Yap last month with Veitch, I think I saw a manta ray once, coming out of the murk... :blink: bad timing and luck, i suppose.

They had 30 mantas at that Kona night dive once. I can't really imagine 30 mantas in such a small space. I saw a dozen at once in my field of view, and the lights and flashes of all the videographers and photographers gave the whole experience a really alien feel...
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#4 wagsy

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 05:55 PM

Eric...you get all the good gigs. :blink:
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#5 CamDiver

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 06:05 PM

Hey Eric,
I really feel Mike's stress out there in Yap. I know what it feels like to base all your hopes on having good dives to generate sales etc to the punters. The Ocean, as we all know, is fickle to say the least. Mike's been battling away there for almost a year with very little success on clear Manta dives, thats not to say he hasn't had them though. The mating season there is also kinda hit 'n miss. I went 2 years and the mantas decided on abstinence for those two years......damn frustrating. The last year it all came together and we had some amazing action. I've never done the Kona dive but I may be heading to Hawaii in September for a seperate gig if it comes off. If possible I'd like to try it out at least. I've lost count of how many Manta encounters I've had thus far, it continues in Palau albeit on a lesser scale compared to Yap. However any time spent in the comapny of these amazing creatures has no equal. Love 'em to bits.

Cheers,
Mark.

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#6 debersole

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 06:18 PM

Eric:

Nice footage! Carol and I did the night manta dive with Jack's Diving Locker a couple of years ago. The first night we had a wonderful interaction with about 10 mantas. Two nights later, no mantas at all. Like Mark said, it's a fickle ocean out there. Glad you had a great experience!

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#7 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 09:31 PM

That is amazing. Wow. So cool!

Alex

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#8 Drew

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 09:37 PM

ohhh... gill rakers bonanza!

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#9 shawnh

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 09:56 PM

Drew...don't get me started!
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#10 yahsemtough

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Posted 23 May 2006 - 05:31 AM

Wow!

I see the model got his Hood back too. :blink:

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#11 echeng

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Posted 23 May 2006 - 08:48 AM

yes, i did get me hood back. :blink:

it turns out that it's easier to self-video than it is to self-photo. I just grabbed the bottom half of the metal dome shade with my fingers and let the nearly-neutral housing sit there by itself.
eric cheng
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