I knew they called it the “Big Island”—but now I know why.
In the last five days on the Kona Aggressor I’ve seen manta rays by the dozen with 20-foot wingspans, enormous pods of dolphins, and lava tubes you could drive a car through.
Of course, it’s not all about the big boys—there’s the infinitesimal invertebrates that rise from the abyss on the “Pelagic Magic” dive and scads of endemic critters that made me glad I saved room in my bag for a macro lens.
I even did something I don’t normally do—I skipped a dive. Why you ask? Well, we pulled into a small inlet for an afternoon dive to the sight of dozens of spinner dolphins making laps around the bay. So, I ditched the tank, donned my snorkel kit and with camera in hand swap out into the middle of the bay.
Photographers (underwater ones especially) have a habit of building up their expectations for a shoot. Well the manta night dive lived up to my best expectations, and then some.
Every night dozens (no exaggeration) of mantas gather in the shallow water only a stones throw from the airport. They are attracted by the scads of infinitesimal krill and invertebrates drawn to the divers’ lights.
Without any air left in my tank after 70 minutes underwater (really, completely empty), I made a lethargic ascent to the dive boat’s ladders. But I wasn’t alone…
Two frisky bottlenose dolphins decided to see what all the fuss was a bout, zig-zagging their way in between the enormous mantas still drawn to the liveaboard’s divelights. You know you might be a spoiled diver when you are literally thinking, “Why won’t those darn mantas get out of the way so I can get a good shot of a dolphin?”
Of course, there’s many more shots from my Kona adventures so far, but I think I hear the dive bell—be back soon…
Fantasea FG7X II
Ikelite Housing for Nikon D500
I-DiveSite Venom 35s
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