Manta Alley in south Komodo was more than excellent on our last Mermaid II trip though Komodo. The water was clear and the mantas were EVERYWHERE! On our short dingy ride to the dive site we had already seen five mantas feeding on the surface. Upon dropping into the water before the small bubbles cleared from the front of our masks mantas were in our field of vision.
It was impossible to miss the cleaning station in Manta Alley this day because all you needed to do was follow any one of the passing mantas and they would lead you straight to it. At any point during either of the two dives there was anywhere from fifteen to twenty mantas circling and pausing momentarily over the cleaning station, mouths wide open to let the cleaner wrass and butterfly in and have their choice of parasites that had attached themselves to the mantas over time. If you had turned left to watch two pass you missed one on the right. If one passed underneath you three passed over the top. It was absolutely mind blowing the quantity of mantas on the site. It wasn’t just the cleaning station that hosted the large manta congregations. Swim five minutes with the reef on your right and you find yourself at the famous alley that gave the site it’s name and it too was packed with mantas from beginning to end.
To put things in perspective about how much of a highlight the two Manta Alley dives were, not even the THRESHER SHARK that we saw in Sangeang could top the mantas. Thresher sharks are a super elusive shark species residing in deep waters and are rarely seen, but we saw one which should have normally been the highlight of the trip, but everyone was still saying, “Yeah, but the dives in Manta Alley still topped the thresher!” It takes a lot to top a thresher shark encounter but I guess countless
Mermaid II Komodo Cruise
May 16-23, 2015
by Alex Lindbloom