Adventure Snorkeling and Diving with Manta Rays in Hawaii

My friend Brian Ricker recently returned from a Big Island live aboard scuba diving trip on the Kona Aggressor. He’s a total diving enthusiast. He’s practically been around the world on diving trips. So I was anxious to hear what he thought about his Big Island dives. The night dive with the manta rays was the highlight of his trip. “Night diving off the Big Island is a fantastic experience. From the largest mantas to the smallest nudibranch [sea slugs], the diversity of sea life provides divers an unparalleled opportunity for adventure.”

Brian’s a great underwater photographer, so be sure and check out his photo set from his Hawaii dives. In fact, Brian provided the photo of the manta ray at the top. Brian estimates that the wing span on this particular manta ray was 15 feet. Whoa!

You’ll find several reputable diving companies near Kona who will take you out for night dives with mantas. Some even bring snorkelers, too. As you may recall, I can be a bit of a chicken when it comes to being in the water, but I may have to overcome my fear some day to see these graceful creatures at night.

If you are a diving enthusiast, then check out The Right Blue written by Bobbie and Jerry who are are expert divers.  They live on the Big Island and frequently write about local marine life and diving points.

Mahalo to Brian for sharing his photos and experience with us!

  1. This sounds like an amazing time to go diving. I bet all the little sea creatures that go bump in the night come out between all the reefs and rocks.

  2. Thanks for mentioning our website, Sheila. We’re glad to know that you enjoy it.

    We join in encouraging divers visiting the Big Island to check out the Manta Ray night dives in Kona. It’s a remarkable experience to dive with these wonderful creatures.


  3. Hi Sheila, Yes the manta’s feeding at night are wonderful. Check out the work done by a friend of mine at Jack’s Dive Locker. Keller Laros and his wife Wendy set up a non profit group to study the manta’s in Hawaii. The web site is He set up this non profit org to study the Hawaii Manta’s and to photograph and protect this wonderful species….jerry

  4. @ GOH – I wonder if the sharks are safely tucked away in their beds and sleeping at night. 😉

    @ Bobbie & Jerry – thanks for the info on your friend’s group. That’s a neat project.

  5. I’ve been to the Big Island several times, each time telling myself “this is the trip to swim with the mantas”. I haven’t done it yet. I’m dive certified, but not too keen on the idea of being in the water at night when I can’t see what’s coming.

    Luckily, I stayed at the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort on my last visit and my balcony had a view of the nightly feeding area. I was finally able to enjoy the mantas… from the comfort of my room.

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