Monsoon season and the onslaught of Manta Rays - a Favorite Sight of Divers.
One of human’s greatest quests, related to the great bodies of oceans and the hidden marine life, has been the quest of observing the rare and unique schools of fish when they gather and feed themselves. Be it watching them peacefully from a distance or swimming among them confidently, humans have gone far and wide in their hope to witness a rare and colorful sight of the shy marine species.
Hanifaru Bay, located in Maldives, is one of those atolls that has been fulfilling this dream of thousands of divers every year. Whale Sharks and Reef Manta Rays are attracted by the zooplankton carried to these waters by the Southwest Monsoon current and they arrive in masses to feed onto them which becomes a mesmerizing sight to behold for tourists. Diving and swimming with these gentle marine creatures is once-in-a-lifetime experience that will be cherished by any passionate scuba diver. High tides that roll in bring about more than 200 hungry manta rays that forget their natural feeding pattern amidst the rich plankton soup and become frenzied as they hunt to get the best of it. Whale sharks congregate to mate and the area is full of divers and photographers having a face to face interaction with the fish.
Baa Atoll, one of the most visited tourist sites is home to a vibrant coral reef system which is full of life. Hanifaru Bay is a part of this area and stretches not bigger then a football stadium. It was discovered by scuba divers who ventured too far in the 1990s and became an engaging . The praises for this bay reached out to the people and soon the area was crammed up with tourists who awaited the sight of manta rays. In order to preserve the marine life and the natural environment that usually gets harmed by the onslaught of tourists, environment protection agencies reached out to protect the jewels of nature. The area was taken under strict policing system and tourists were restricted to a specific number to avoid overflow of people. Maldives has worked to preserve the rare marine life and a budding ecosystem that is vital for the environment. Hanifaru Bay is now well protected and well maintained to ensure a splendid diving experience for the tourists and guarantees that they would witness the natural environment in its pure form.
Snorkeling while the manta rays gather to feed is one of the most exciting prospects that this bay has to offer and the whirlwind of fish is a dance of nature that you would not want to miss. Our liveaboards at Maldives Diving Adventure are fully facilitated and are best known for providing the most exciting experience to our divers with all the luxuries.
writer - StagHorn
Manik was incredibly helpful to me throughout the trip (Susan) + was attentive to everyone needs. tried to make the trip (and succeeded) a very special one. My favourtite dive Master ever. You are lucky to have him!