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diver dave1

Sailfish and Manta outing

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Just finished an adventure with Shawn Heinrichs off Ilsa Mujeres. The goal was to photo sailfish and baitballs and we did a good bit of that. Seeing sailfish attack at close range is just beyond what the pictures show. And many of the pictures turned out rather nice. Have not had time to sort them as yet, only a review of a few.

 

But the amazing part of the trip was the last day. Due to a wind shift, food for manta's was at the surface. Mobula and Manta's were everywhere. When I mean everywhere, standing on the flying bridge of the boat, using binoculars, there were manta's on the surface as far as you could see in every direction. The debate in the boat was if we could see more than 1000 or not at once on the surface. Not a bad topic for debate.

 

They were far more shy around us than Manta's I have encountered before in Fiji and Hawaii so encounters with an individual was brief, at least for me. The milky water was not the best for photography so my Manta photos are not as clean as other locations but who can complain?

 

We saw at least 11 Manta's do a full body breach with many of them doing a back flip with it. Jim Abernethy got a photo of a breach but I have not seen it so not certain how great the photo turned out.

 

While the Manta's were everywhere, so were running sardines. They made the water look like it was boiling on the surface for as much as 500 m2 at a time. Often you could see a dozen patches that size at once. When they ran at you, it was amazing as they passed. I kept expecting to see something following them but never did.

 

While watching the Manta's, a sailfish would swim by from time to time, as did not sea turtle.. He was as shocked to see me as I was to see him and he ran away immediately.

 

I had never seen Mobula before but I have many photos and at least 7 together in some of them but sadly in milky water. When I get home to a better screen, perhaps some post work will help with it.

If the water had been clear, we likely would not have seen the spectacle so just enjoying it for what it was.

 

Quite an experience, to say the least.

 

dave

 

 

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Here is a quick small sample of the action. Shows another member of the group in good position for this action. Not the best photo by far but at least a taste of what was happening with the sailfish and bait balls.

 

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Edited by diver dave1

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Thanks for your report David

 

I was out there last wednesday also and was shocked of the great amount of mantas feeding on the surface . I never though that was possible to see that many in the Caribbean , really an amazing spectacle . Our boat didn't have bridge so we don't have that perspective but they were everywhere. Also millions of sardines and lots of dolphins.

 

I regret not having spent more time with the mantas, since was our first day out and we spent the whole day looking for the sailfishes without luck ( we only saw one pass by ). Thursday we have some moving baitballs and spend some time with the sailfish but water was not really clear ; after that a north front came and only today is the sea conditions starting to get better .

 

Here is a pic of 2 mantas feeding from that day

 

Regards

 

 

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Different sea but many mantas in Raja Ampat at Manta drop off. This picture has 16 in the frame including the splash from a leap. No idea how many mantas were circling around, their reflections in the mirror like surface were amazing but huge current meant you could not photograph them there.

Recommend Kri to anyone wanting to experience mantas

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