Manta Pacific Research Foundation

Oahu Manta Ray Identification Project
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image by Mark Mohler 2018/08/13
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Number: 19
Name: Maica
Sex: Female
Current Size: ~8'
Last Sighting: August 13, 2018
First Size: ~8'
Date of First Sighting: August 13, 2018
Sighted By: Mark Mohler
Location ID'ed: West Side

Comments: We were sitting at the surface, after a dive, on the west side of Oahu, on Monday 13 August. Current had picked up a little bit towards the end of the dive. As we sat and chatted, I noticed a large dark object approaching the boat from down-current. Knowing the infamous Chuck Babbitt just saw a whale shark in the same area, I excitedly grabbed the GoPro and hopped in the water. This was one of the largest mantas I've seen in Hawaii, reminding me both of the size and curious behavior of the manta birostris I had the opportunity to dive with in the Revillagigedos. As I dropped in, she swam straight at me. I did a drop to try to capture her belly, and to my surprise, she rolled her cephalic fins into a point, dove, and happily rolled over, unfurled her fins, and swam under me, upside down, for about four minutes - plenty of time for Kim Jeffries to get in the water to capture these photos.