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  • Swimming with Manta Rays in Coral Bay

     
    GOPR1590manta14bwmsmall
     
    I recently snorkelled with the Manta rays of Coral Bay, Western Australia. These rays are resident to the area all year round. They are a type of Mobula (Devil) ray of which the specific species is unknown to scientists and they have not been sighted in any other part of the world.
     
    The rays give birth to live young. The females can be followed by up to ten males during breeding but she is fussy with who she chooses to mate with; waiting until only the strongest, most persistent male remains.
     
    The Mantas I swam with were around 4m from wingtip to wingtip. There were two Manta rays, we think they were female as they both had scars on their left wing tips from where the males bite them to flip them over when mating.
     
    The Manta rays were so elegant and graceful as they effortlessly moved through the water sweeping up the plankton in lines, back and forth, turning around as they reached the end of each straight line. As they turned you could see inside their cavernous mouth and watch their Remoras follow them perfectly. It was one of the greatest things I have ever done – swimming with the Mantas, it was truly magical and I loved every minute of it. Thank you DJ, this was the best birthday present ever :) Here is my movie:
     

     
    http://youtu.be/J-T31UH2yrE
     
    To help in the conservation of Manta rays you should snorkel with an eco accredited company and adhere to a code of conduct to protect the Mantas. I snorkelled with Ningaloo Reef Dive, Coral Bay, Western Australia and would highly recommend them to others.
     
    Sadly, Manta rays are heavily targeted by fisheries in certain parts of the world where their gill raker’s are sold for use in Chinese medicine. This is leading to a rapid decline in population numbers, as the rays reproduce at a slow rate. Follow this link for more information:

    http://www.projectaware.org/project/manta-rays-risk

     
    The bottom line is always money. The fishermen sell the gill rakers to earn a living. To help protect the Manta Rays it would help if we could get the message across to the countries where this heavy fishing is taking place, that Manta rays are way more valuable alive and that sustainable eco-tourism would bring more money than selling gill rakers.
     
    We need to conserve these beautiful creatures for our future.
     
    Thank you to Chris Zabriskie for the use of the sound track “Cylinders” in my movie.
     

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    Swimming with the Fishes at Fortaleza

     

     
    Here is the full movie I filmed and edited of the dive at Fortaleza,Caleta de Fuste, Feurteventura back in April. We entered at Barranco off the boat and drift dived with the wall to our right. It was a simply serene dive with unbelievable numbers of fish. At one point I drifted over a Moray eel deep in it’s crevice. There were also starfish, Parrot fish, Wrasse, huge zebra fish, small Groupers, Box fish, Trigger fish, Damsels and lots more.
     
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    Thank you to Buddy Rich and Divemaster Tyler from Deep Blue Dive.
     
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    The soundtrack comes from “Ray – A Life Underwater” by Tony Higgins. Thank you to Tony Higgins and the Free Music Archive for the use of this music.
     
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    I hope you enjoy the video :)
     
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    Back in the Water :)

     
    I had not dived for around two years until recently I dived in Caleta de Fuste, Feurteventura with Deep Blue Diving. Before diving, I felt slightly nervous about getting back in the water, there were a lot of questions running through my mind, had I forgotten how to kit up? Would I feel like I’d been “thrown in the deep end”? But it was my birthday and I was determined to do it, it had been too long since I’d last experienced the sensation of being in a completely different world, swimming with the fish away from the bustle of the surface.
     
    I had found out about Deep Blue Dive online at home before we went away. I seriously had no need to worry about diving again. I walked into an awesome atmosphere when I walked into the dive centre and was immediately greeted by Roland who I then shared my concerns with. We sat down and talked through a plan, and straight away I felt at ease and excited. So I gave in my documentation and booked my orientation dive for the next day.
     
    The next day I got to the centre nice and early and met my dive buddy, Steve; my Divemaster, Gary and the other divers. Everything was laid out perfectly for kitting up; the team provided me with everything I needed and it was quite amazing how everything came back to me whilst kitting up with the other divers. I had found my confidence once again :)
     
    Once we’d briefed the dive site “Mole”, a nice shallow 6-7 metre dive; we carefully ran through buddy checks then entered the boat.
     
    One by one we rolled over backwards over the side of the boat, then met up at the buoy. All was OK so we descended the buoyline. Once again all was OK when we got to the bottom so we proceeded towards the sea wall. On the way over Gary found an Arrowhead crab which he picked up and let dance on its spindly legs across his hand.
     
    lotsa fish_wm
     
    At the sea wall we saw two Cuttlefish, one was gracefully hovering above the rocks with its skin smooth. The second was tucked in a crevice, it’s skin bumpy and camouflaged. As we watched, it drifted out and quickly changed its appearance.
     
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    We found a Seahare, it wafted its purple ink as Gary picked it up to show us. There were many fish, Parrotfish, Damsels, Wrasse, Grouper; one was bumping Gary territorially.
     
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    We made our way past many sunken objects and a shopping trolley towards a large school of Barracuda.
     
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    Further on, we explored the rocks for hidden creatures, there were grazing Starfish and Sea cucumbers on the sea bed.
     
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    Here is the movie that I took whilst diving “Mole”.
    Thank you to Stromlinie for the use of their track “Dark Lights Part 1″
    Also, a big Thank you to buddy Steve and Deep Blue Dive, Caleta de Fuste, for such a brilliant re-introduction to the wonderful world of diving. Hope you enjoy the vid :)
     

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    Diving Fortaleza, Feurteventura with Deep Blue

     
    This blog is just a taster really of whats to come in the near future :)
    Lots of diving movies and photos from a recent trip to Feurteventura!
     

     

    This is a short movie I took with a gopro hero2 at the end of an awesome drift dive with buddy Rich, celebrating Txomin’s 100th dive at Fortaleza, Caleta de Fuste, Feurteventura. I dived in April 2013 with Deep Blue Dive centre who are an amazing team and a lot of fun to dive with (cheers guys :) )

     

    This is my first piece of editing, I’m just so excited I managed to workout how to use the software, thank you Deej! Hope you all enjoy it!
    Thank you to Dada & Faust for the use of their track “Fisherman Dub”

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