Rare Manta Ray Sighted – Manta Ray Facts
Carter Jessop was spearfishing last week with some buddies at San Clemente Island, CA. He got the surprise of his life as one more example of El Nino swam by. He had this to say about his experience:
“On Monday, 8/18, we were hunting yellowtail off the southern tip of San Clemente Island, diving a spot with strong wind and current. After an hour or two in the water, I got worried about the anchor set for our RIB, so I decided to go check on it. As I was kicking over, I was thinking to myself “this is unnecessary, I’m sure the anchor is fine”, but I made the swim anyway, because I figured maybe a school of yellows would come by during the swim or I would see something else interesting. Halfway back to the RIB, I saw a small green sea turtle and told myself that at least the swim was not pointless, because I saw something kind of unusual… little did I know…
After checking the anchor (which was fine), I turned to swim back to the drop off where the other guys were hunting. About twenty yards from the boat, I looked down to see a huge dark shape beneath me. Although my brain couldn’t quite accept it, I immediately recognized it… it was manta ray with an 8-10-foot wing span swimming along the edge of the kelp! I clicked on the gopro and dove toward it and captured this video (serendipitously, this was one of the first dives I had worn a gopro in months)
I came to the surface laughing to myself at what an incredible thing I had just witnessed. I told the other guys and although they believed me, they couldn’t help but say:
If we watch that video and it turns out to have been a huge bat ray, you’ll be getting grief for the rest of your life.
About 30 minutes later, as we were contemplating heading in for lunch, I catch motion from the corner of my eye and what do I see but the same manta cruising by again. This time I was able to holler to my dive buddies so that we could all have a chance to see it.”
San Clemente Island is a place where you never quite know what you’ll see, but this has to be the most unusual thing I’ve ever seen out there. Not an experience I will soon forget.”
Thanks and photo credits to Carter Jessop.