Introducing the Top 10 “Regulars” on the Manta Ray Swim

May 6, 2024 | Manta Rays in Hawaii

Almost every night, our guests are treated to magical encounters with the manta rays of Kona, a spectacle that leaves everyone in awe.

If you join us on a Moonlight swim, chances are you will encounter one of our regular manta visitors at Manta Point viewing site (the place where we conduct our activities).

This article lists the top 10 manta rays that our team encountered most frequently in 2023. Our swim guides, Audrey, Savannah, and Martina (the founder of Manta Ray Advocates), share insights and fun facts about them, bringing their stories to life for you!

Read more about all the mantas that have been spotted on Kona’s shores in the past 20 years in our database.

Tyger, the Giant Reef Manta

Tyger Ray is one of the largest of our local manta friends, spanning 10 feet wide.

As Savannah shares below, she is very impressive when she shows up, as she almost fills the small space where the mantas feed.

Black Diamond, the Resilient Manta

Black Diamond is a male pup who once got caught by a fishing hook in his cephalic fin.

Martina shares below how divers dealt with the situation and why he still has the hook in his body.

Louisette’s Journey of Trust

Louisette Ray is a really shy manta. Audrey experienced how she learned to trust the feeding grounds and became comfortable doing barrel rolls! Hear the story below.

Jolene, the Friendliest Manta

Jolene Ray is super friendly with people snorkeling during the manta ray swims. Close-ups are not a problem as she loves to eat the plankton near the surface.

Savannah shared a fun story of why sometimes they call this manta Holene.

Gita: A Tribute to Martina’s Mom

Gita Ray was named after Martina’s mom Gita. Her mom swam with manta rays several times over the years and holds the record for the oldest participant. Hear the story in Martina’s own words.

Why Vegemite Became Savannah’s Favorite Manta

Her name comes from an iconic Australian spread, vegemite, inspired by the Australian wife of the man who identified her.

Find out how she came to be Savannah’s favorite manta in this video.

How Pu’uwai Captured Audrey’s Heart

Pu’uwai Ray swam into our lives in 2017. He was just a pup, measuring a mere 3 feet, but since then, he’s grown to 5 feet.

Find out why Pu’uwai Ray captured Audrey’s Heart in the video below.

Obama Ray, from “Barack Obama” to “Michelle Obama”

Obama Ray, named after former President Obama, turned out to be a female, Michelle Obama!

Find out the story behind her name below.

Otho Dee, the Manta with One Eye

Otho Dee Ray has only one eye. Does this affect him? Savannah shares the answer in the video below.

In 2023, Otho Dee truly proved himself a local, gracing the viewing site with his presence 148 times, making him the second most spotted manta of the year.

Kamala, the Resident Star of Manta Point

Her name, inspired by US Vice President Kamala Harris, celebrates the significant milestones she represents: the first female vice president, the highest-ranking female official in U.S. history, and the first African American and Asian American to hold the vice presidency.

The Kohala Coast is Kamala Ray’s home range, with 200+ sightings in 2022 and 2023.

Martina shares more stories about Kamala in this video:

Get to Know More Manta Rays of Kona

This is just a small portion of the manta rays living in this area. There are more than 300 manta residents of Kona, and you can get to know each of them by checking out our library, which includes a collection of pictures, video clips, descriptions, and beautiful stories of all the mantas sighted in Kona in the last 20 years.

If you were lucky enough to meet one of them, don’t forget to share your story on their dedicated page!

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE DIVING IN WITH THE MANTAS

If you’re thinking about booking a manta ray activity, don’t miss our guide for swimming with manta rays in Hawaii. It’ll answer all your questions about equipment, prerequisites, safety, sustainability, and much more.

It’s a great FREE resource for anyone who’s getting ready to experience the manta rays firsthand.

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