It’s the first day of October. The sun is shining, the wind and waves are calm, and we’re in good spirits to find manta rays! Today we visited The Cauldron and Manta Point with Dive Komodo, onboard their boat the Rajawali. Vidlia, Ichsan, Elitza and I from MantaWatch joined eight divers from Korea, Uruguay, and the United States.
Vidlia and I gave a presentation about manta rays and explained how divers can help conserve mantas by following the MantaWatch Code of Conduct. The tourists were very excited, and all hoped to see the manta rays in their dive. Our first dive site was The Cauldron, and though we did not find manta rays we did find two whitetip reef sharks and two hawksbill turtles. There was no current in the Cauldron today, so we could see many schooling fish along the beautiful reef wall.
On our second dive, we got to see a manta! But only one today. After the dive we all compared photos–the MantaWatch team, Dive Komodo divemaster and tourists–and together we got some good ID photos to upload to MantaTrax.
In the classroom Riza and Satria entered many ID photo data into the MantaWatch database, helping us move towards our population estimate for Komodo National Park.