New additions to the family don't come around that often, but in December 2018, SeaTrek Sailing Adventures was delighted to welcome a new and very unexpected member to the fold. A Manta.
Manta rays are very graceful swimmers, they must be constantly in motion to keep the water flowing over their gills, and they appear to be flying through the water flapping their large wings. If you are lucky to have the opportunity to swim with mantas, you can see how beautiful they are.
As our tour leaders were leading a snorkelling session in Raja Ampat on a Jewels of Raja Ampat trip, our group came across an individual reef manta ray gliding along in the shallows. Our quick-thinking tour leader Dani Mulyana took out his camera and managed to take the beautuful shots below, capturing her unique markings in the process. He sent the images off to the Manta Trust in Indonesia so that they might identify the individual and gain more information on her health and migration habits. It turns out that she was an as yet unidentified specimen, and the Manta Trust were overjoyed.
When a new specimen is located the finder gets naming rights, and while the Manta Trust has her listed as Manta #750, Dani gave SeaTrek the ultimate compliment by giving her the simple name of ... Ombak Putih.
Isn't she beautiful?
Thank you, Dani, and here's to many more new discoveries.
If you would like to come and encounter manta rays for yourself with SeaTrek Sailing Adventures, come and join us on our Dances, Dragons & Magical Lakes in 2024.