Two Amazing Adventures

Luxurious, stabilized modern boats built to SOLAS standards

We swim with the friendliest giant mantas in the world, and go face to face with great white sharks. Read about our experiences, guest comments and more here at the Nautilus at Sea blog! Plus special editorials by Captain Mike.

I was reduced to the level of a giddy 10 year old schoolboy as a great big black winged beautiful manta glided over my head. with great manta humor.

May 20, 2012 Written by

7.45 am dive briefing. How uncivilized. Can’t they install an LCDTV in every room and just broadcast it to us? With breakfast in bed? I mean, did we lose a war or something? Aren’t we an advanced technological society?

Alright, enough whining. First dive of the day, we were surrounded by a school of jacks, then a dolphin came close enough that his wake turbulence messed up my hair. All very nice, but where’s my Manta!!! Ah, there he is! Swimming away, well, I’m sure he’ll be back. We waited. And waited.

Those divers less needy than myself were content to look at all the other wonders of the sea, but I wanted some manta love, and I waited until my air was at the limit before I gave up and headed for a 4 minute safety stop with Helga. We leveled off for our stop, suddenly she is tugging at my arm. Yeah, yeah! I thought, watching the stopwatch run down. I’m busy trying to keep us out of the decompression chamber, thank you honey!

Finally she grabbed me by the ears and pointed at the manta, surging directly between us and the surface, and I was suddenly reduced to the level of a giddy 10 year old schoolboy, the gauge forgotten, the stop forgotten, as that big black beauty winged overhead, watching us with great manta humor. When getting out of the water into a zodiac, one must put aside all illusions of dignity as you are hauled into the boat like a bloody hooked tuna, flopping on the deck. I suppose I should be grateful that Captain Gordon didn’t hit me over the head with an oar, especially after revealing all his dark secrets on the blog pages.

Nevertheless, it was amazing to watch how practiced and expert the Zodiac drivers are at hauling us aboard and then threading the needle through 6 foot swells to land us safely in the back of the Nautilus Explorer, such that you can step right off and into a dry martini and breakfast, already waiting. If anyone understands the finer needs of the passengers, it is this awesome crew.

Dive 2, it was raining mantas! 4 this time, some divers saw 8! The non-stop chatter after a dive is always a good sign, and the absolute height of civility. Of course, it was followed by a plunge in the hot tub and then an awesome lunch. I feel almost a sense of pity all those poor faceless slugs, trudging their way through the gang-infested streets on their way to their jobs at the tractor factory, while I snack high on the food chain and enjoy the hedonistic pleasures of red hot manta love. However I would also be the last to welcome their intrusion into my pleasure zone! MY MANTAS! MINE!

Our divers were comparing the barge, Solmar 5, to the lovely lines of the weatherly, fast and true Nautilus Explorer. Our rooms are bigger, our crew is smarter, faster, and better looking, our captain has finer seamanship, (subjective, really, but we have to defend our own), and we haven’t even started on the food. One passenger from the Solmar, who jumped ship and swam to us as a political refugee, told us tales of floggings, rat on a stick for breakfast/lunch/supper, and diving with empty air cylinders. We practically wept at the lack of civility, then deported him off the boat with nothing but a floatation sausage to get home. Note: This is all in fun, I’m sure the Solmar 5 crew and boat are awesome and take wonderful care of their passengers. And really, rat on a stick is a delicacy in some corners of the world.

Dive 3 was manta-licious. Or mantabulous, as it were. We are developing a manta glossary. Here’s a few more:

Romanta falling in love with a manta; non sexual cross species love, of course.

Manta amnesia when you’re so stunned by mantas, you forget simple tasks. Like removing your fins and then trying to get on the Zodiac.
Marc Dugas

I went looking for a shark and I saw one. That was good! Lots of Manta!
Thomas

Swam with mantas up close, with pictures to prove it. I think she likes me. I can tell. I have a date with her at the boiler.

Piotr

On one of our dives, there were more mantas than water molecules! Including one with a tag [ultrasonic tracking device for scientific research].
Walter

I had a great day swimming with 5 or 6 mantas. I saw octopus, scorpionfish, lobster, and even a shark! Best dive of the trip so far. Fabulous. I couldn’t believe how close the mantas were, looking right into my eyes, while it hovered right above me.
Heide

Had a great dive today, with 3 octopus going at it as well as all of the mantas, with Tony cruising above the manta. Got some great shots and video. Everything has been great, although the water has been a little cool [engineering: heat has been turned on for tomorrow].

Thomas M

Great underwater scenery; very dramatic. Like the Caribbean, but three times as big! Compliments to the crew.

Tom A.

Amazing mantas. The crew and the food are both outstanding. We have a great room. Someone needs to turn the heat up though. Water is cold!
Paul and Sandra

Manta Birthday to me! All I asked for was 16 mantas. And I got them!
Rod and Andrea

Fantastic Dives today! Mantas, mantas, mantas. Best day so far. Mantas, mantas, mantas!

Bill

It’s been an eventful trip so far this week. Despite some challenges (a bit of wind and some waves and surge), our troupe of stalwart divers has shown themselves up to the adventure. The rewards have been plentiful, and the ecstatic smiles after diving have reflected this. We’ve had hammerheads, Galapagos and whitetip sharks show their toothy grins, and octopi hiding their blushing tentacles under rocks as we approach, cameras in hand. One of the highlights has been the shepherds tending their flocks; a pod of dolphins joined us on the Boiler in the morning, rounding up a school of jacks to cull for breakfast. The same dive site has brought us the enchanting mantas dive after dive. Their mesmerizing dance entrances us, making divers forget every habit they’ve picked up over the years of diving (like checking gauges, maintaining any kind of buoyancy or depth control, and sometimes, even breathing). I look forward to what tomorrow will bring!

Divemaster Tony

Air ~80F, mainly sunny

Underwater 73F, mainly blue

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Categorised in:

This post was written by Mairin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Proud member of Global Shark Diving alliance We proudly supply the Nautilus Lifeline to all our divers Storm Policy Storm Policy

© Copyright 2015 Nautilus. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Refund Policy