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

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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 octopuses, #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 octopuses 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 octopus 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

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Dolphin Rescue Hawaii – 2 year anniversary and update

Dolphin Rescue Hawaii – 2 year anniversary and update

Aloha and Happy New Year 2015!
Today is a special day: it is the 2-year anniversary of “Dolphin Rescue Hawaii”, the rare video I shot of a wild Bottlenose Dolphin being rescued from fishing line entanglement  (January 11, 2013).  It happened during the Manta Ray Experience and it was an incredible moment: truly breath-taking, inspiring and providing the message the world needs!

The days and weeks after the video went viral were incredible. I got calls
from CNN, CBS, Good Morning America, FoxNews, ABC with Diane Sawyer, WDR, RTL,
Westdeutsche Zeitung, Tagesschau/Nachtmagazin etc and also interviewed with the BBC Breakfast TV via skype. These were exciting times, which continued when the
BBC “Inside the animals mind”, National Geographic “Animals gone wild”, MINA TV
“Die tierischen Zehn” und Globo TV (Brazil) “Fantastico” integrated the film
into their productions. Two other you tube channels reloaded my original
dolphin rescue video, and together we have over 15 Million hits. We
received thousands of comments and emails. A true testament to the uniqueness of
the subject matter. It is also very unusual for a clip this long to accumulate
so many views.

The most common question we received was, “Is the dolphin okay?”

Amazingly, our very own E. Ryan Leinbach encountered the Bottlenose dolphin again and today on the two-year anniversary of the rescue, our team is very excited to present: Dolphin Rescue Hawaii – Update: A Chance Encounter. A MUST SEE!

It was on March 30, 2014 around 11AM, when Ryan encountered Notch about 2-3 miles off shore in “blue water”, meaning the ocean is just blue and several hundred meters deep. She was scanning the surface for something exciting to see, and when she discovered several dolphins, her group of snorkelers glided into the water to check it out. Notch came over to the group and was making whistling and clicking noises. After he checked everything, he went back to his original doings of courtship behavior with a female. We can conclude that Notch is not just okay, he is actually thriving and making more little dolphins. How cool is that?
From a humanized perspective, you might think that Notch was happy to see humans, but from a natural stand-point (and I prefer the down-to-earth approach) you can suggest that Notch was just verifying that the creatures entering his neighborhood were not a threat or something to be concerned with.

Although, both Ryan and myself have several thousands hours swimming and filming dolphins on the Kona Coast, we both have never seen this particular behavior when Notch went spiraling into the deep blue, came straight back to the surface and swam around the humans. It is very rare footage and supports the theory that he was a “happy camper”.
Well, who really knows , but we make people think, right?

At the beginning of this year (Jan 1 until 9) we joined the local “Waimea
Ocean Film Festival” on the Big Island. We submitted the full story of Notch:
before the rescue; the actual rescue and the re-union. The screenings with live
Q&A were a big success.
Here is a beautiful story from one event: A gentleman walked up to me and told me that he was with me on the boat when the Dolphin Rescue took place. We traveled back together to the harbor. I was on such an adrenaline high, saying things like “this video will go viral” or “millions of people will see this“.
The guy, Dave, thought I was a total nutcase for saying that stuff. He thought I was some crazy lady LOL…but here we go…15 Mil hits on YouTube and counting.

The Waimea Ocean Festival edit/story is available to everyone, as we offer
the HD download for ONLY $5. YES, no kidding ONLY $5. The contributions will help us to continue our Manta Ray advocacy and ocean education.

On a personal note: The last two years were a whirlwind for many other reasons. In the summer of 2013, I unfortunately (or fortunately) was diagnosed with breast cancer, so for a while my work had to be 2nd priority. The final steps to recovery were taken a few months ago (September 2014), and I can only say, everything is fine! I am not only a cancer survivor, I am a cancer thriver.
The BC diagnosis actually fueled me even more to continue my ocean advocacy and education for Manta Rays and marine life, as it is my true love and passion. I am in the right place and can apply all my skills: from engineering to web-design to video production. My group recently started the Manta Ray Advocacy movement. The Manta Ray activity is over-capacity and and
as a result the mantas are getting hurt. My small team has the means, knowledge and imagery to make a difference. Learn more here!

Our intention for sharing this footage:

1. You can make a difference every day, even if you don’t see the result immediately. Who would have thought that Notch from being in trouble with the (man-made) fishing line entanglement would end up thriving and procreate?
2. We can co-exist with other creatures. Although humans know so much, they only know so little.
3. The footage is very beautiful and enjoyable to watch.
4. Our company’s mission statement is:
Inspiring, educating and transforming public consciousness with
stunning imagery
“.  We feel we are delivering and are planning to continue on this path.

Share this post, let us go viral, contribute $5!

Best wishes for 2015.
Martina Wing

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Thank you and Merry Christmas 2014

Merry Christmas to all crew members, boat captains and activity providers that we work with on a nightly basis.
You help us keep the Advocacy movement going. This is our tribute to your hard work and dedication and we wish you all the best for the New Year 2015!

Enjoy and share the Manta Love….


Martina, Jim, Ryan and Adam

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Record Night at Manta Heaven

The fireworks went off a day early!

July 3, 2012: We are reporting a record night with 41 Manta Rays sighted at Manta Heaven !!! OMG…unbelievable!!!

Here are the stars of the show:

20 Females:
Wingspan (13-16 feet): 1. Big Bertha  2, Lefty   3. Koie Ray   4. Vicky Ray   5. Rebekah Ray   6. Maluhia   7. Andrea Ray   8. Boo Boo Ray
Wingspan (10-12 feet): 9. Cara Ray   10. Mango   11. Margo Ray   12. Melainah (traveled 15 miles from Manta Village within 23 h),   13. Re-Nata Ray   14. Vallaray
Wingspan (6 – 9 feet):   15. Shirley Ray   16. Linda Ray   17. Lisa Rae  18. Delaney Ray   19. Emma Ray    20. small unidentified female

21 Males:
Wingspan (8-11 feet): 1. Curly Ray   2. Alexander Ray   3. Cousteau   4. Hook   5. Stevie Ray   6. Hans Ray   7. Bob’n’Ray    8. Timbuktu   9. Scar   10. Sugar Ray
Wingspan (5-7 feet): 11. Uhane Nui   12. Jay Ray   13.  Capt. Mike   14. Ralph”s Ray   15. Grayer   16. Blain Ray   17. Vinny Ray    18. Tim   19.  Doug Ray   20. Keniki    21. Ke’kai’malu

We are so blessed with these beautiful “Angels of the Sea”.

Be safe out there – Happy 4th of July
Martina, Jim and Ryan

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Teresa Ray, Jana Ray and Stats for January 2012

Teresa Ray, Jana Ray and Stats for January 2012

Teresa Ray:
This past month Teresa Ray joined the dinner party on several nights at Manta Village and Manta Heaven, and oh man, she is sooo big.
Thru our observations of pregnant Manta Rays esp. Big Bertha last year, we know that the female Manta Ray who is about to deliver, not only has a big belly, but their back also bulges out a lot.
We created a short movie about Teresa Ray, when we saw her this past month (February 27).
We are pretty confident when we see her the next time she will have a flat belly again and hopefully she gave birth to a healthy pup. We will keep you posted.

NEWS FLASH: March 11, 2012 (12 h after I posted this blog!): Teresa Ray is not pregnant anymore! YEAH. She came to Manta Heaven with a flat belly tonight and enjoyed a wonderful meal with 11 other ones. The pup was not seen, but this can change soon.

Jana Ray:
Jana Ray, our youngest “trained” Manta Ray at Manta Village recently came to the dive site with a deep cut in her cephalic fin. It must have happened between February 3 and 5, because she was fine on the 3rd. She is feeding okay, but it is obvious that she is in pain.

If that wasn’t enough, Jana Ray came to the site 9 days later (February 14) and she had caught more fishing line around her cephalic fin. Amanda Ault , one of our dedicated swim guides from Big Island Divers was there and here is her report:.

During the Manta Ray Dive at the Sheraton site this evening I noticed that Jana, one of our young female mantas, had some fishing line attached to her right cephalic fin. The monofilament line was hooked around the base of her fin and tangled in a small bundle along the underside of her body. It also had a small red/white fishing bobber attached to it which was trailing about a foot and a half behind her right wing.
After watching her circle under us for a while I felt compelled to try to remove at least the fishing bobber. I borrowed a dive knife from my captain and waited for a good moment to attempt the removal. Jana is a speedy little manta, so I was a bit nervous about the timing because I certainly didn’t want to cause her any further harm with my efforts to help. After about 10 minutes, she settled in to a feeding circle about 3 feet under my float and it seemed like as good of a moment as ever to try for the line. I dove down, grabbing the bobber in one hand and cutting with the other. Thankfully the line cut easily and I didn’t feel any tug when I pulled the bobber and some of the line away. There was still some line attached, so hopefully it will come free, or someone else will have a chance to remove it.
Cheers,  Amanda (Big Island Divers snorkel guide)

We can add to Amanda’s report that Jim saw Jana Ray several times since then and she doesn’t have anymore line on her. She seems to be adjusting and getting better every day. We will keep you posted on the healing process of her cephalic fin.

Statistics for January 2012:
We had mentioned in an earlier post that January 2012 was an awesome month for Manta sightings especially considering the ocean conditions were in our favor almost every night.

Here is a quick overview of the numbers we saw in January including the “travelers” that frequented both sites and the three Manta Rays we have seen the most:
(Check here to download the complete pdf-file).

Some comments about these statistics:

–    12 (!) Manta Rays (Big Bertha, Delaney, Kapono, Koie Ray, Lefty, Lightning, Margo, Melainah, Re-Nata, Reece, Teresa and Vallaray) were seen at both locations in January 2012 and they all changed sites within 24-96 h).
That’s incredible and also shows that those Manta Rays definitely know where the dinner table is set every night and are taking advantage of it.

–    The highest number of Manta Rays at Manta Heaven was 27 individual Manta Rays
The highest number of Mantas seen at Manta Village was 8, and this happened 4 times!

–    Koie Ray, Lightning, Margo, Melainah and Re-Nata were at Manta Heaven on January 8. Within 48 h they all made it to Manta Village, and Koie Ray and Lightning moved back north within 24 h. Impressive !

–    Lefty, Vicky Ray and Grayer are our TOP 3 for January 2012.
Grayer was seen 23x
Vicky Ray  24 x and
Lefty scored the TOP POSITION with 25 sightings of possible 31 nights.

TOP 15 Manta Rays for 2011
Our next blog post will reveal our Top 15 Manta Rays seen in 2011.
Can you guess who is in the TOP 15 ?
Let me know which Manta Ray you think has come to the Manta Ray Ballet the most last year?
Just leave a comment in the comment section or send us an email:

With Aloha
Martina, Jim and Ryan

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