Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from the Manta Ray Advocates!
In 50 combined years of diving with the Kona Manta Rays, we have never seen ANYTHING like this…a clown on the Manta Ray Dive. Who would have thought?


With Aloha
Martina, Jim, Ryan and Sam

Launch of our Advent Calendar – Happy Holidays

Launch of our Advent Calendar – Happy Holidays

HAPPY HOLIDAYS from the Manta Ray Advocates!

Just a few minutes ago, we launched our Advent Calendar on our Facebook page.
This is your invitation and we hope you will enjoy 24 days of cool Manta Ray education with videos, memes, graphics and story telling.
The first day starts with a BANG; it is a hilarious bloopers video where divers and snorkelers get touched or sometimes “slapped” around by the mantas. A MUST-SEE!

Update about Waimanu, the Hawaiian Monk Seal that visited us a few months ago during the Manta Ray Experience.
Remember? But if not click here to see the encounter.

She was pregnant at the time, and had her baby just a few weeks ago. Unfortunately we got word last night that the pup was found dead.

Here is some more info from the Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program:
“A young male pup that was born earlier this month was found dead on Thanksgiving morning. We have completed a necropsy, and though we are still awaiting lab results, there were no signs of severe trauma or indications of disease. We will be more definitive when the final results come in but as of now this looks like natural causes. We will keep you up to date as we learn more…”

Last but not least:
We just got re-invited to join the Waimea Ocean Film Festival 2016. We showed our Dolphin Rescue Hawaii video there last January.

This awe-inspiring and beautiful message continues to go around the world. As of yesterday, 23 Mill hits on YouTube (with re-loads).
How cool is that!
If you have not seen it, click here to enjoy the awe-inspiring and beautiful rescue in its entirety.

With Aloha and Happy Holidays!
Martina, Jim and Ryan

A Case of Mistaken Identity

A Case of Mistaken Identity


You got to read this story!!! It all happened last week…


Dive Master Bryce’s original report:

I was leading my divers out of this beautful lavatube we call “skull cave”, and I noticed a lovely free swimming octopus landing gently on a boulder just outside the exit. I slowly approached said boulder so as to not scare the octopus away.

As I got there I started noticing octopus number 2, then 3, and as I was about to motion to my divers that there were multiple octopi, #3 emitted a black cloud of ink and hauled ass away.

I was curious why the octopus would be inking as we were still approaching and he had plenty of room, so he had no reason to perceive me as a threat. That’s when I saw the other two octopus take off after #3…

As I watched this hellish Nightmare Demon (aka Viper Moray) fly 10′ out of his hole and attempt to chase down 3 fleeing octopus in mid-water, I learned the reason for the ink.

Now I, Bryce Lauder, being of sound mind, had no intention to stick my face in the pissed off viper moray hole, so I turned my group and started to search for some new excitement.
But Nightmare Demon had other plans…

Two or three seconds later it felt like someone grabbed my arm really hard. As I comprehended that this “grab” was actually quite painful, I turned to see viper moray tail running back to his boulder about 15′ away.

I heard the lady in my group scream through her regulator, so I’m sure they heard a few expletives out of me as I emitted my green cloud (color of blood underwater) on the way back to the dive boat.

Although I was a good 10-15′ away from the viper moray’s hideout in mid-water, I believe it was a case of MISTAKEN IDENTITY.

The moray had just been inked for tagging an octopus and couldn’t see, so it went after anything moving, which was me! CRAZY!

Keep in mind that Hawaii is one of the safest places to scuba dive and snorkel in the Pacific ocean.

The octopi were signaling “DANGER! DANGER!”, but because the dive master didn’t see and wasn’t aware of what THEY clearly saw, he kept moving and it was movement that triggered the eel to strike.

As Bryce pointed out in his narrative, once an octopi inks, an eel
immediately goes into “Strike Mode” because it “knows” (in a eel kind of way), that it has only has seconds before the octopus “disappears.”

Another factor in the equation is how hungry and therefore “wound up” the eel was. For all we know, it hadn’t eaten in days. This was a case of Bryce being in the exact wrong place at the exact wrong time.

The odds of being bitten by a viper moray eel are about the same as being struck by lightning. From a business point of view, it is WAY better for Bryce to get bit than a tourist diver.

Our hat is off to Bryce for being so “cool.”
He has a nice story to tell, with pictures (and a scar) to prove it.

Had Bryce not had a wetsuit on as soft body armor, those puncture would would have been very serious shredding wounds which could have torn the brachial artery in his arm and the outcome may have been much more serious.

Bryce has his Guardian Angel to thank for protecting him from a much more serious injury. Eel bites are also notoriously infection prone. He’s not “out of the woods” yet.

With Aloha
Martina & Jim

GREAT NEWS for the Mantas – Regulations are coming

GREAT NEWS for the Mantas – Regulations are coming

GREAT NEWS for our Kona Mantas: regulations are coming and have been long in the make.

A week ago the legal fellow from the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) invited to meet with all manta boat operators and stakeholders. It was a great exchange of ideas and suggestions on how this unique industry can move towards a sustainable (I love that word!) future. As always, my team participated and it felt really good to see that the officials have “heard” us.

Over-capacity and questionable conduct of operators are the main problems the Manta Experience is dealing with, and ultimately the Mantas and the reef have paid a price for it.

Book with a boat operator who is most ecologically-minded and simply reads the manual “the Operator Standards” www.MantaRayGreenList.com

Hawaii News Now – KGMB and KHNL

DON’T FORGET to sign up for our newsletter so you won’t miss any updates about the progress made to safeguard an “Experience-of-a-Lifetime”!

With Aloha
Martina & Jim

Adam Walker – Ocean Walker

Adam Walker – Ocean Walker

Imagine spending the next several hours feeling cool, salty water sweep over you as you swim through open-ocean, and this isn’t your first time. You are one of 6 people to ever swim the Ocean 7.

The toughest 7 ocean swims in the world, – the English Channel, – the Strait of Gibraltar, – Catalina Channel, – Cook Strait, – Molokai Strait, – North Channel, and – Tsugaru Channel. This is the real-life experience of Adam Walker.

Adam Walker is one of 6 people to ever complete the Ocean 7 and the first British person. He is one of 2 only who did all 7 without any failed attempts (btw he also did a 2 way Gibraltar straits), and he came to visit us! Adam joined the French Production Company MC4, Director John Jackson and Assistant Keir Byatt as we explored Manta Rays! The MC4 crew had seen my viral Dolphin Rescue video, circa 2013, and they felt compelled to interview me!!


I’m honored to have been filmed under water by world renowned videographer Roberto Rinaldi for a series international shows that will air in December 2015! In France the special “Thalassa” and in Canada “Nature of Things with David Suzuki” will center on “Dolphin Intelligence”, these specials will highlight 25 human encounter with dolphins.

Adam shared with us his unforgettable interaction with dolphins (and I am sharing it with you). In April of 2014, Adam was swimming New Zealands’ Cook Strait.

After several hours of swimming he peered down, only to realize that there was a great white shark beneath him. Adam, naturally, was concerned about the sharks close proximity, when suddenly a pod of dolphins surrounded him. Over the next hour the dolphins accompanied Adam on his swim through Cook Strait, at points getting so close that they made it difficult to swim. “I’d like to think they were protecting me and guiding me home!” he posted on Facebook. “This swim will stay with me forever.”

We had the privilege of escorting Adam Walker and the MC4 crew on the Manta Experience with Big Island Divers, we shared my love for Manta Rays and how they have changed my life so many years ago, and still today.

Stay tuned for updates and enjoy the short video we made for Adam Walker.
It was inspiring to meet a fellow ocean lover and advocate!!

Aloha, Martina!
Manta Ray Advocate