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Kona Manta Ray Identification Project
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Billy Ray
image by David Marchand 2017/11/21
Number: 270
Name: Billy Ray
Sex: Male
Current Size: ~18'
Last Sighting: November 21, 2017
First Size: ~18'
First Sighting: November 21, 2017
I was diving for fun from KDC’s boat on Tuesday, November 21 2017 at aquarium dive site and I was cruising into the blue when suddenly, I turned around and I saw a manta ray swimming towards me. As it was approaching me, it was bigger and bigger and I realized that it was a pelagic manta. It was a big male about 18ft across. A group of divers saw me from distance and they told me that I looked really small next to him. He was not shy at all and actually he was really friendly. He spent a few minutes with me doing some “swimming" around me. I’m glad I had my wide-angle lens that day and I was able to take some shots of him. That was a great intimate experience! I would like to name him Billy Ray in honor of my friend and buddy diver Billy who lived here in Kona for several years and worked as a scuba-diving instructor/divemaster for KDC.