WAISAI, Swimming alongside manta rays became one of the target tourists visiting Raja Ampat, West Papua. No wonder, one of the manta rays gathering place is the busiest dive place in Raja Ampat.
It is Manta Sandy, who is a gathering place, foraging, and cleaning manta rays. Spot located in the Dampier Strait area is quite close from Arborek Island, about 15 minutes by speedboat.
For those of you who want to explore the beautiful sea of Raja Ampat with manta rays, wehas summarized the directions of Manta Sandy spot area for tourists, following.
- Can only be dived by 20 people simultaneously
Regardless of the speedboat that leans, the number of tourists who can go down at the same time only 20 people. This aims to not interfere with manta activity inside.
- Do not use flash
The manta rays are very sensitive to the flash from your camera. So it is prohibited to take video or photo images using flash or excessive light.
“Because these shy animals will be very disturbed and can be angry or stressed,” said Aaron, one of the cadres Pos Manta Sandy, while explaining the new rules on us, Wednesday (18/10/2017).
- Calm when approaching manta rays
Although significant, manta rays were very shy. This animal will be aware if we move aggressively. If he is conscious, then instantly will go away.
“If we calm down while taking pictures, even he is clever in style, like swim twisting, then maneuver and others,” said Aaron.
- The right position when meeting
The right position is not allowed in front, or above eye if snorkeling. If in front, feared to interfere with the way when eating plankton.
He ate by following the path of plankton, so we are forbidden to cover his feeding path. The best place is on the right or left side while taking a picture.
- Do not touch it
One that is often violated by tourists is holding or touching any part of the manta rays. Whereas according to Aaron, one of the causes of manta rays did not come again to the spot is because it is touched and felt threatened by humans.
- Secure distance
As you approach the manta rays, keep them within a safe distance. That is as far as three meters from tourists.
Approaching manta do not go after him because they will feel hunted. Instead of wanting to take her picture up close, they are annoyed and move away faster.
“Remember, manta rays have incredible weapons, the tail is poisonous when it is hazardous,” said Aaron, before we tries to find manta rays in Manta Sandy spot.