Manta rays, Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Swimming With The Manta Rays-Just Another Day On Raja Ampat

Today was a day that I will not soon forget.  Today was the day that made all the uncomfortable days, all the hunger, cold showers, unpleasant smells, malaria laden mosquito bites, and lack of sleep worth getting to Raja Ampat.  Today I saw and swam with what I think has to be one of the most impressive creatures on this earth.  Manta Rays.  I’ve never seen one before today.  Setting out, I thought that they would be about the same size as stingrays.  I had no idea that they would be about the size of a small airplane.  That realization hit me when we arrived at the spot where they usually feed and one leaped playfully out of the water to greet us.  I’ve never felt such a moment of awe and beauty at the same time.  They are such magical creatures and very gentle for their size.  Swimming with them made me realize that everything I had gone through to get to this remote and untouched spot of the world in Papua, Raja Ampat, was worth it.  This was why I was here.  This was why I had come.  I am honored to have gotten to witness such an amazing creature.  Raja Ampat is truly a breathtaking spot on this earth, and as I later snorkeled through it’s colorful coral gardens with its beautiful fish and sea turtles, I realized with a little sadness in my heart, that snorkeling would never be as good as this again.  Enjoy these pictures.  My thanks to Patrick for letting me use the pictures that he took on our adventure. (I took the first two.  He took the rest.  The strong current made it impossible for me to shoot and swim!)  For a video of the manta rays swimming, check out my Facebook page!

Scuba in Raja Ampat, Indonesia FishIMG_8319Diving in Raja Ampat, IndonesiaIMG_8323IMG_8324IMG_8326IMG_8328IMG_8329Raja Ampat Manta Rays, IndonesiaIMG_8353IMG_8355IMG_8356IMG_8357IMG_8366IMG_8367IMG_8369IMG_8371IMG_8385IMG_8393IMG_8394IMG_8395