Trip Start Jun 01, 2010
158Trip End Mar 11, 2011
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Our boat seems to be crewed by the crew of the Calypso, Jacques Cousteaus expedition ship. All but us two and one dive master from New Zealand are French, so we hear a lot of French blue blue bla around us. But unlike other French that we have encountered in past travels, these people are friendly and very helpful. When we arrive there is only one other speedboat anchored at the lines, so we pretty much have the site to ourselves. The visibility is not that great, but that is a good thing. This means that the water is full of food, food for Manta Rays. So we gear up and jump in the nice warm water.
The second the first diver hits the water we hear her scream "Manta! Manta!". And as we got in to the water we saw it for ourselves. About three meters long and maybe just as much wide, the gallantly 'fly' through the waters soaking up the food. It is a gorgeous site, and we are lucky people to see these magnificent animals in the wild. At one "fly-by" of the Manta she stopped about two meters away from me, I could see her curious eyes asking me "who are you, and what are you doing here". Of course the whole dive is about the Rays, as the other things can be seen almost anywhere in the world, and we play and follow them until we run out of air.
It was truly amazing and so worth the hour long speedboat ride. For one diver the sight of the Rays became a bit too much as he panicked and shot up to the surface. He had to be 'rescued' by a dive master and spend most of the dive hanging on the descend cable to stabilize himself. Apart from that little incident, everything went smooth and no one got hurt. Back on the boat we were served some nice home cooked lunch and rested for a bit. The crew of Dive and Relax practically force fed us water or other drinks as staying hydrated is very important in the burning sun.
The second dive site was only a hundred meters further. Here we dove to see more of the reef. We saw lots of smaller fish, some Moray Eels and small crustaceans. Not as spectacular as the first dive, where we were surrounded by the Manta Rays, but still very beautiful. We did catch a glimpse of one Ray passing by but he did not came to play with us.
All in all diving with Dive and Relax was a great day out, and seeing Manta Rays was spectacular. Back on the shore we headed back to the hotel to freshen up, we were both a bit sunburnt and were of course very tired.
That evening we had dinner across the street again. The special of the day was some steamed fish with ginger and lemon, which was very delicious. The restaurant was just as unorganized and chaotic as the day before and the crowd was again all Scandinavian. We noticed that the whole island is mostly inhabited by Scandinavians tourists. There must be a direct flight from Stockholm to here I guess...