Hunting manta rays on Manta Dropp-off - Dreamstime

Briefing for the dive was the most precise I've ever experienced. And that was why. All it would enough was the slightest mistak and a diver was pulled down by a strong current in the sea depths. On the dive we went just two divers with three guides. The aim was "Manta Dropp-off" promising countless manta rays.

Manta Dropp-off in Raja Ampat (Papua Barat, Indonesia) is a break in the seabed, where manta rays go for snack. Longer visible from the surface is reminiscent of a strong current flowing as a river in the middle of the sea. But that is far from being the biggest threat. If diver is pulled into this current, he would just flow along the reef, where it could picked up by a boat.

Greater danger comes from currents flowing from the cliff top. It

Dive itself was very well prepared and planned. We went two divers, accompanied by three guides. The plan was simple, but depended on the correct execution of each step. We plunged into the stream "behind the corner" from our observation point. Current carried us quite fast along the reef, we could observe it as from the window of a train.

Cliff in front of us wrapped around a bend and there expected us the most difficult task: Capture the hooks for solid coral before the current pulls us into the depth.

Current was really strong. Hooked at solid coral we puffy jackets and observed manta rays while hanged on the ropes as fairground balloons. We felt the flow of water, but as long as holding the rope, hook and coral, we were safe.

Above us opened pageantry. At one point I saw up to eight manta rays sailing in sight below the surface. They circled like birds in the air and we were completely ignored. I wished to get closer to them but it was not possible. Deprived of movement we had to wait until they wish to sail closer.

Time was slowly running out. Instead of the usual 50 bars reserve was necessary due to the current and risk to have 80 bars reserve air. A colleague and his guide have left and I had only a few bars to reserve. As I was alone, manta rays lost their last shyness and arrived closer. Espied me (or just performed them selves) and disappeared back in the dark distant water. I was satisfied and started to climb.

Photo credits: Petr Zamecnik.

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August 20, 2013

Gheburaseye

what a beautiful animal! In sea and ocean there are the most beautiful and misterious beast fo the world!

August 20, 2013

Lazydino

wow, papua barat,,, awesome creature.. :D

August 20, 2013

Thorken

Yeah, it was :).
Thank you.

August 19, 2013

Mike2focus

Sounds like quite an amazing experience! You got some nice photos too. Thanks for sharing!

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