Komodo is full of surprises, every trip we never know what this special piece of the ocean has to offer. Of course there are the staples of Komodo: mantas, schooling fish, sharks, and the strange benthic critters are more or less expected. However, what makes Komodo so unique is the frequency of rare creatures that present themselves. Past trips have brought Mermaid guests face to face with mola molas, thresher sharks & hammerheads, dolphins, blue ring octopus and the list goes on.
Our BIG pelagic surprise of the trip came to us down south in the famous dive site called Manta Alley. Not only were the mantas lined up twenty deep in the alley like a fleet of flapping fighter jets, but a very persistent school of about 100 cownose rays casually passed over reef and mantas six times! I’ve seen these mobbing schools of rays just a handful of times, and each time they were charging into the current so all the encounters were fleeting. This time however, they were moving more slowly and we were actually able to swim with them for a very long time! Knowing how rare even a sighting of these elusive rays is, to be able to spend time with them and really absorb the experience has easily made this encounter one of my most memorable experiences underwater!