I had attempted several dives to Manta Bommie (off the northern tip of North Stradbroke Island) over the last couple of months, but – for a variety of reasons – hadn’t managed to actually dive there – until yesterday…. For the most part I had just been plain unlucky – with poor visibility and bad sea conditions making other nearby dive sites a much better option… Instructor Burk, even had the audacity of saying I was Jinxed.. but yesterday my jinx finally broke – Big Time.

See the Video footage of the day out at the bottom of this post…

Todays Dives

We had near perfect surface conditions for a fast and smooth (< 1hr) trip, out to the Bommie… we even saw some dolphins and (remarkably) a huge waterspout on the way out… We did have a bit of a race to get the prime mooring spot with another local dive operator … but the twin hull of The Voyager will always give a faster, safer and more stable trip than any single hull vessel – so we won this easily 🙂

Visibility was looking great – seeing the bottom from the boat (even if it was only in 9m water) is a great way to start, but spotting a large Manta Ray surfacing within 5m of the boat – , before we even hit the water – set the scene for a great day of diving…. and we were NOT disappointed.

Dive 1

The first dive, visibility was 10-15 metres and it was only minutes before we encountered our first Manta Ray – almost directly under the boat…. Throughout the dive we saw many medium to large Mantas – mostly cruising around on their own, but occasionally in small groups… They varied in size, with one huge specimen with a “wing ” span of nearly 10 feet… Now to me, they pretty much all looked the same, but I was reliably informed (by divers who are much more familiar with Manta spotting), that there were about 10 different Mantas cruising around.

There is little point “chasing” Manta Rays – the best way to observe and photograph them is to simply watch them for a bit, notice their “pattern” (they tend to cruise around following a similar path), and sit, wait and watch…. With this strategy, more often than not, the Mantas will come to you and simply cruise by (or if you are lucky right over) you. If you try to chase them, not only will you have little or no hope of catching them, but more than likely they will just swim away until you have gone (much to the ire of your fellow divers).

Manta Bommie is not teeming with quite as much fish life as some of the other local reefs and sites, but there are also usually Leopard Sharks (we saw a couple of good sized ones resting on the sandy bottom), Turtles, and we also saw a great school of squid.

Dive 2

After a fantastic between dive “snack” (Brisbane Scuba offer THE best food of any local dive operator), the visibility for the second dive had dropped a little, and the surge had picked up a little, but we still had plenty of Mantas to keep us amused.. in fact so much so, it almost got a bit .. ho hum… boring… (well not really, Mantas are so majestic and endlessly entertaining).

Book a Dive @ Manta Bommmie

After our 2nd 1hr dive of the day we all finally dragged ourselves back to the boat, for the trip back to Manly Boat Harbour… and we were back on dry land by 12:30….tired but exhilarated after an awesome day swimming with the Majestic Mantas of Moreton Bay.,…

…and here is some amazing video footage – filmed by our very own
Master Videographer Extraordinaire – Burk.
You simply cant get ANY closer to a Manta than some of these shots :

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