Travel and Scuba Dive Vicariously on the Coralia in Raja Ampat, Indonesia! I came back from my trip in mid-February, and I want to share my experiences with you, I hope it cheers you during this time of uncertainty. One thing I am certain of: the sun always comes out, and this too shall pass. We’ll all be out enjoying our world soon!
I was greeted by my old friends Jerry and Debbie, and it felt like coming home! Friendships that last regardless of time and how many times you actually see each other are great. We are of the same tribe, divers who care passionately about our oceans and our future.
Dr. Andrea Marshall headed up the trip for Ray of Hope Expeditions. Andrea is the head scientist and co-founder of Manta Rays and other pelagics for Marine Megafauna Foundation. Her mission is one I support wholeheartedly: A World where Marine Life + Human Life Thrive Together. This is not only a dream but a necessity in order for humans to continue to enjoy life on our planet.
Andrea is an enthusiastic supporter of citizen science: “Making a difference out in the field and playing an active role in the protection of our oceans is a rewarding and life-changing experience.”
I love going on these scuba dive trips. I’ve done it for so many years that every trip I go on results in meeting up with other divers I’ve met through these expeditions and others. The Scuba Diving community is passionate about diving and the ocean.
We are searching for Manta Rays on these trips, to take identification photos of the animals and see how many new mantas are onsite as well as checking on mantas who have been seen before. It’s important to note sex, any injuries, and behavior. These photos are uploaded to a database available to all of us, Manta Matcher. Manta Matcher is a citizen scientist’s dream because when we dive with mantas anywhere on the planet, you can load ID photos and add to the scientific research.
Scuba dive vicariously!
I take many ID photos of Manta Rays, but I always struggle in locations like Indonesia to take great photos of Manta Rays. Where there are Mantas, there is food in the water and plenty of current. I have yet to capture that one photo, that photo that I am thrilled to have taken. But just seeing them and observing them is enough. I love these animals, and when they choose to interact, it is sheer joy!
Of course, we see plenty of other fish in Indonesia, the most biodiverse ocean ecosystem on the planet. Enjoy these photos from our first couple of days of diving! Scuba dive vicariously!
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