Manta Diving Tips From The Solmar V
As we hit the mid-way mark of our 18th season
of exploring the Socorro Islands, we'd like to share some Manta
Diving Tips from our seasoned divemasters and instructors.
Need To Go Deep: The mantas are used to being in shallow
water (50 feet to the surface) as that is where nearly all
of the cleaning stations are. Socorro mantas (our theory
based on watching them for 18 years), for some reason, have accepted
divers as part of the cleaning cycle and approach very closely.
So, don't go deep - they will follow you, but all you'll lose
is bottom time and available light.
Let The Mantas Do The Work: The up to
20 ft. mantas are bigger and faster than any diver alive! Why chase
after them? Instead - maintain neutral buoyancy, relax, and let
the action come to you. It may take a pass or two for them to get
close and "hover" right over you, but it will happen
if you are patient. Once they do start to hover - they'll be with
you for the rest of the dive...
Why Do Mantas Like Some Divers, Not Others? While
we don't know exactly why - we do see mantas interacting with
some divers more than others. Photographers and divers without
cameras - so we know it's not cameras, strobes, or video lights.
More than likely - it's how calm you are when they approach. The
calmer, the better. Quick, jerky movements seem to put you in the
Why Do the Mantas "Hover" Over
Divers? This is part of the cleaning station behavior that
the mantas use when being cleaned by their favorite cleaner,
the Clarion Angelfish. They "hover" with
flared wings to signal cleaners they are ready to allow them
access to nip off parasites - and also to indicate "no
How Close is "Close"? With
Socorro mantas - close is 3 feet or less. As a matter of fact,
you may have to slowly "back up" underwater to photograph
them. Do this calmly, and they'll stay right with you - slow and
gentle movements make for lasting Manta encounters!
The crew of the Solmar V knows all of the best
manta diving spots at the Socorro Islands - courtesy of our
long experience in the area. The mantas do move around, and weather
conditions change - take advantage of our seasoned crew's manta
experience to make sure you get to the best sites! We've
had to dip into our pocket of "secret sites" on
more than one trip this season.
This article is from the Solmar
V eNEWS Article Archive