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Anyplace to snorkel with Manta Rays from shore?

Corvallis, Oregon
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110 posts
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Anyplace to snorkel with Manta Rays from shore?

I've read various recommendations about night Manta Ray snorkel trips with different tours. Is there anyplace that snorkelers can swim to the action from shore? If not, are there any boats that will take you out just to see the mantas, without other stops? We'd rather not pay more to snorkel in the afternoon and finish with the manta rays after dark. This will be a splurge adventure for our family. Thanks.

Palm Springs...
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1. Re: Anyplace to snorkel with Manta Rays from shore?

the only way to do a manta ray snorrkel that is without a tour.... you cant do it anyother way,,,,,,,,,,,not possible...... no way... that iis the scoop.........all the boats that do this do just ths an nothing else.

Corvallis, Oregon
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110 posts
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2. Re: Anyplace to snorkel with Manta Rays from shore?

Okay, Hawaiidan, so it'll be on a boat excursion. I'm assuming that the shorter the trip, the less expensive it'll be. Who do you recommend that will concentrate on the manta rays and not combine it with a pricier afternoon snorkel/dive, snacks, etc. We are two parents and two young teenage boys, all good swimmers. Thanks for your advice.

Palm Springs...
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3. Re: Anyplace to snorkel with Manta Rays from shore?

every body with a boat does a manta ray snorkel and dive, its a combo diving and snorkeliing trip with food served on the boats. Most all the boats from alll different companiies raft up together for the experience. As such it makes little difference in my opinion who you take. All will charge about the same.

i feel that the companies out of keauhou dive a much safer area then other places. There is no shortage of mantas......... Ii think someone told me there are over 40 resident mantas.

I have watched from shore several times.....but never done it as I am not a beleiver in being in the water, snorkeling, at night when its the official dinner time for very large types of fish....

Keno, OR
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4. Re: Anyplace to snorkel with Manta Rays from shore?

We went on the night manta ray snorkel/dive with Jack's Diving Locker out of Kona about a year and a half ago and it was wonderul. We only had four mantas that night, but they were huge and it was a fantastic experience. I agree that it seems a bit pricey at first, but it is such a once in a lifetime thrill (although we may go again!) that it was worth the splurge. We had Kellar Laros as one of our guides, and he is the founder of the Manta Ray Research Foundation--very knowledgeable and informative, yet fun and light-hearted too. The guides were very careful about everyone's safety, and we had one guide who stayed on the boat with the only responsbility of watching over us snorkelers. We all wore different colored glow sticks on our mask straps--that night the snorkelers on our boat wore red. I lost track of my husband in the dark for awhile, so swam back to the boat and asked the guide to check if every snorkeler was o.k., and he sighted everyone and counted them up right away. We even spent the extra money ($100) for the DVD that Kellar shot that night, and it was worth every cent! He puts it to music, and I took it to school and showed my students--they still talk about seeing it last year! (I have had many requests for an encore of the DVD). There is some risk of being out in an environment at shark feeding time, although I have never heard of an incident with the night dives (we read the Hawaii papers every day, and have done so for about two years now)...it seems like being in the water at dark anywhere a shark MIGHT be is risky--I don't know that one spot is less risky than any other---I was so focused on the mantas, and knew our guide on the boat was watching out for us, so it never felt dangerous to me at all. I hope you and your family can have a wonderful, exhilarating experience like we did--it was the highlight of our trip!

Corvallis, Oregon
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5. Re: Anyplace to snorkel with Manta Rays from shore?

Thanks for sharing your experiences, OregonSnorkeler. It sounds like Jack's Diving locker did not snorkel near Keauhou. Do you remember where they went for the Manta Rays? Was it combined with a worthwhile afternoon snorkel stop? I sort of lean toward staying in a more protected bay, as Hawaiidan suggests, but I've read good reviews about Jack's.

pzp
Kauai, Hawaii
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for Kauai, Kapaa
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6. Re: Anyplace to snorkel with Manta Rays from shore?

We were out on a night Manta Ray snorkel with Sea Paradise about 3 weeks ago. (They also do a day trip to Kealakekua.) There were no other boats anywhere near us. We were at the mouth of Keauhou Bay; maybe others go elsewhere? We also had a Manta Ray expert with us; unfortunately I don't remember her name.

Keno, OR
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7. Re: Anyplace to snorkel with Manta Rays from shore?

Jack's took us up north of Kona to Garden Eel Cove. There were about three other diving companies out there with us, but they all arrived after we did, and left before we did. The snorkel in the afternoon wasn't spectacular, as the water is about 30' deep and most of the fish stayed about 15-20 feet below the surface. However, the nighttime manta ray snorkel was totally wonderful, and we loved every minute of it!

Palm Springs...
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8. Re: Anyplace to snorkel with Manta Rays from shore?

I make my evaluation on safety and big fish from talking to other divers and boat folks. The area around the Harbor to the north gets a some of the charter boats fish waste. As a result there is the presence of some big Tigers there that even come into the marina and swim about looking for turtles., their favorite food.

The same is not true for the Keauhou bay.

Since it may be possible I look somewhat like a turtle, at night ,I will pick where I snorkel rather than be picked when I snorkel.

A turtle like HD has gott'a be careful

Keno, OR
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9. Re: Anyplace to snorkel with Manta Rays from shore?

Garden Eel Cove is WAY NORTH of the harbor--we boarded the boat and spent at least 30 minutes at top speed getting to the anchoring area. I don't think fish waste dumped off boats coming into the harbor is likely to be a problem that far north. (Oops--we didn't go at top speed the whole 30 minutes, at one point our boat slowed down and did a big circle for a minute or two to pick up a pod of dolphins who then raced us--about 8 of them running in and out of the bow wake, including a youngster--it was great fun!).

Cedar Rapids, Iowa
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10. Re: Anyplace to snorkel with Manta Rays from shore?

We also did the Jacks Manta Ray snorkel. I agree with Oregon, that the afternoon snorkel was not that great-the day we went it was very choppy with a strong current. It did die down by the time dusk came. The water is just too deep for good snorkeling. We had 6 mantas (two who came within inches of our faces) which was awesome. The night we were there, there were 6+ boats out there so it was kind of crowded. We are very glad we did it but not sure we would do it again because of the afternoon snorkel, then sitting on the boat waiting for dusk to come. If we could just go out for the Mantas, then we might consider it again. We did not eat anything because we were afraid of getting sick. HIGHLY recommend taking some sort of precaution against seasickness.

Funny thing about sharks, we took a boat tour out of Port Allen in Kauai and my husband overheard one of the crew talking about constantly watching over his shoulder for sharks when he was in the water cleaning the boat.

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