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manta ray night snorkel

Sydney, Australia
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32 posts
54 reviews
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manta ray night snorkel

We are planning a holiday to Hawaii in October next year and would like to do a manta ray night snorkel. I have been looking at all the operators and checking out TA reviews but it is quite overwhelming. I believe it is better to go with a smaller group even though all tours go the same area. I would very much appreciate any advice.

Massachusetts
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143 posts
2 reviews
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1. Re: manta ray night snorkel

What is a small group to you? The boat we went on did not have more than 20 passengers plus 3 crew. They used two floating rings, each of which held around 10 people. You need a lot of people on the rings and in the area to have enough light to attract the plankton which attracts the rays.

Elk Grove...
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551 posts
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2. Re: manta ray night snorkel

MassMom,

Which company did you use? We did a manta dive in 2006, and it was an amazing experience. I think we will try a snorkel for our upcoming trip, as our travel companion is not a certified diver.

K S
Keewatin Ontario
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11 posts
29 reviews
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3. Re: manta ray night snorkel

Benaroon,

We did the night dive with Kamanu charters last year. They have a maximum of 24 people on their catamaran. When we did the snorkel, there were only about 14 people. They told us if we did it again to contact them directly for a good rate, so you might want to try that. They do provide wetsuits and I would suggest using them as we had people on board that declined them and they all got out of water before the time allowed as they were cold. For people with glasses they actually have prescription snorkel masks with lenses for viewing without your glasses. They do a snack after the dive. It was the best trip we did. You'll really be glad if you do it. They had to postpone a couple of days due to the water being murky from the ship and also a storm rolled in one night but was definitely worth the wait.

new hampshire
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453 posts
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4. Re: manta ray night snorkel

We went just recently with Kona Honu Divers and it was the most amazing thing I have ever done in my life. My husband dives, I only snorkel. This is something he wanted us to do "together" so even though I was scared, I said I would. Now Kona Honu has mostly divers and up until the last day I was going to be the only snorkeler so I almost did not go as I didnt want to be in the water by myself. The staff really worked at trying to calm my fears and then a lady signed up last minute so I was good to go. They dont use those huge rings, just a noodle and wetsuit (use it!) so you can go off on your own. Did get kicked in the head quite a few times from the bigger groups. The crew was amazing and we saw 17 mantas. Would reccomend Kona Honu in a heartbeat!

Tampa, Florida
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158 posts
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5. Re: manta ray night snorkel

is this manta ray dive done on Maui or Kauii?

new hampshire
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453 posts
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6. Re: manta ray night snorkel

cin56 - its on the Big Island

Mentor, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Waikoloa
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885 posts
122 reviews
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7. Re: manta ray night snorkel

The Big Island is where I have only seen the Manta Ray dive. I would google it or look through TA.

We have signed up for the Twilight Manta Ray dive with Big Island Divers:

http://www.bigislanddivers.com/

They also take snorkelers because I too do not dive. My hubby & son do dive and I agree, it is something I want to experience with them. My father-in-law is a snorkeler, so at least I have will have company. I am very excited and have heard that this is definately a MUST when visiting the Big Island.

Los Angeles
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381 posts
33 reviews
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8. Re: manta ray night snorkel

My husband and I just did the Manta Ray dive last night with Kona Diving Company. We wanted a small group too (which we got) although once you're at the site, ALL of the other dive shops are there too so just expect that you'll eventually be in a large group of people. Like Mass Mom said, you need a lot of lights anyway to attract the rays so the more lights the better.

And I must say, seeing all of those lights from the boats, snorkeling rings and divers projected into the water around the "campfire," filling up the darkness with such otherworldly light, was something out of The Abyss or Close Encounters. It was SO cool. And then to see the manta rays gracefully swimming within that circle of light - it was truly a one of a kind experience. I don't know what the snorkelers saw, but sitting on the bottom, I literally had to duck in order to not touch the mantas' bodies as they glided over my head countless times during that hour.

Another cool thing was that we stayed there longer than anyone else so we had the mantas to ourselves for about 10 minutes. They even followed us as we made it back to the boat. I was sad to leave them.

I can definitely recommend Kona Diving Company for the Manta Dive and they said they usually take out snorkelers too. Everyone there was exceptionally friendly and helpful (which is not always the case with dive shops). Plus, their boat has a hot shower aboard for afterward!

P.S. The other coolest thing was that my husband and I saw a manta ray this afternoon by ourselves on our shore dive up in Puako!

Edited: 1:58 am, November 15, 2012
Mentor, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Waikoloa
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885 posts
122 reviews
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9. Re: manta ray night snorkel

That is good news! We are really gearing up for our trip next month. Thanks for the update!

Aloha!

omaha NE
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50 posts
32 reviews
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10. Re: manta ray night snorkel

same here, good to hear a report!