We are living on board! For the next four days we are heading to sea for a manta safari, and practicing our manta survey skills. 

We are all so excited! Today might be the day that we’ll meet our first manta! We woke up very early and went to the Dive Komodo shop to prepare our equipment before getting on the boat. 

For our first dive we went to Sebayur Kecil. We hoped to find mantas, but unfortunately we didn’t see any sign of them. But we did see a bleaching coral.

After that, we moved to our second site called Mawan. This site is famous for manta rays, but we still didn’t find any. We did see blacktip and whitetip reef sharks though. Even though we didn’t meet the mantas, we still reported our survey to MantaWatch Online because absence is still a useful data.

bleaching coral

It’s only small, but it’s the first bleaching coral I’ve seen

Two tourists joined us on this trip, and between dives we had a chance to practice giving our manta briefings for the first time. Rika and Sihar did a great job explaining about manta rays and how to dive with them responsibly.

Later that day after dinner Andy told us that we had another seminar. And surprise! The two tourists were not tourists at all. Joely and Ange are Trustees from Guy’s Trust who supports the MantaWatch Internship Programme. They had come to Labuan Bajo to see our activity, and we had a chance to learn more about the amazing work that Guy’s Trust has done.

Tomorrow our manta safari continues, and we will keep searching for the manta rays.

manta briefing

Rika and Sihar give their first manta briefing


Williem Hartono

Williem Hartono

Williem Hartono is a B.Sc. Marine Science student at the Univeristy of Padjadjaran. His interests include designing innovative approaches to educate and inspire coastal communities to manage their local marine resources. He is currently planning his undergraduate research, and hopes to study the environmental factors influencing manta cleaning behaviour.