Manta Ray Dive- Kona Day 1

Over the weekend my parents, the kids, John and I all flew to the big island for a little get away.  John and I did 3 days of diving beginning on the first evening trip out for the Manta Ray night dive.  This dive is much talked about by other divers both here in Hawaii and around the world.  Its been consistently ranked in the top 10 dives in the world so we had to see what all the buzz was about. 

We left the harbor with Kona Diving Company at around 3:30 pm and headed out to a place they call garden eel cove.  The first dive was before sunset where we saw the garden eels that the cove is named for.  We also saw a few Mantas along the way. 

Helmet Shell



The second dive was the eagerly anticipated Manta ray night dive.  Mantas are filter feeders, meaning they have large gill type filters that gather all the plankton that they want to eat and funnel it toward their esophagus.  They are massive fish and can weigh up to 1600 pounds and can have wing spans as large as 14ft.  I couldn’t stay still to save my life since these things create a surge of their own as they move.  All the dive boats that come to this spot gather around a rock ring they call the “campfire”.  All the Mantas swim around and filter all the plankton that are attracted by the dive lights.  Apparently this is a great spot for the plankton because a couple of currents converge into the cove.  It was the experience of a lifetime and a great kick off to our first dive vacation. 

The night was capped off with a visit from Frank.  He’s an undulated eel that we were warned about.  He isn’t afraid of people and swims over people’s shoulders and scares them to death.  He did this to John and I have to say it was quite hilarious.  Poor frank though, after John swatted him away he was stomped by another divers fin a couple of times.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. wahinecharter
    Sep 08, 2014 @ 21:43:06

    Some good tips from a very experienced person. But I am sure that charter company you choose also helps the same way before you go for kealakekua bay snorkeling.


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