Nick Ray was first identified on July 18, 2011, at Manta Village by James Wing and about 4 feet across.
First, we thought that he was a female manta ray (no sign of claspers), but when we saw him again in January of 2012 we realized that we need to rename him.
He has been a regular at the dive site “Manta Heaven” and only a few times at “Manta Village”.
The original namesake for this manta ray was our dear friend Nicole Suzanne Schmaus from Switzerland. She succumbed to a rare form of cancer in February of 2011 and only 42 years old. She was engaged to Ray Dumas.
In many ways, Nicole is still a big part of us and Nicole Ray, or today Nick Ray will keep her spirit alive.
Nick Ray has been named after Nick Watson, son of Capt. Jeff Watson. Nick works as a captain and divemaster along the Kona Coast and has become very good at identifying the mantas.