Most Inspirational Moment
Snorkelling with five manta rays which were feeding in the water beneath us, flying/swimming gracefully in formation, spiralling and going round in small circles near the sea bed.
We were able to easily keep up with them for about half an hour. An enormous manta ray joined the loose group for a while before disappearing into the plankton haze.
Visibility was surprisingly good, given the plankton, and we able to duck dive a few metres to get clearer photos.
Swimming above and briefly alongside a whale shark with only our group present in the water on our second encounter with it, was also magical. We were lucky to see several whale sharks at night pass very close by at the surface by the stern illuminated by a powerful light used to attract small fish eaten by the whale sharks.
Thoughts on Group Leader
UB (Ubai) was personable, had an easy and infectious laugh and who “got” the English sense of humour, looked after all members of the group very well, and quietly and efficiently ensured that everyone was happy and that everything ran smoothly and without drama.
Advice for Potential Travellers
Practise snorkelling and duck diving, go on a course if you can, it will pay dividends when it comes to getting closer to the wildlife underwater.
Although snorkelling gear is available on the boat, take your own mask (and fins ) to ensure a comfortable fit.
Take a camera suitable for underwater photography and practise with it before you go.
A rash vest, preferably but not essentially a thermal one (see on Amazon), is really useful for up-to one hour plus snorkelling sessions.
Take along some luck with you to help you find plenty of all the creatures you want to see.
Our first encounter with the whale shark felt rather uncomfortable at times, having to swim along with more than fifty other snorkellers , although the whale shark itself seemed unperturbed and continued to swim along on its way. On our encounter the next day we were the only ones in the water.
There was, as expected, a lot of dead coral around, though there were also plenty of signs of recovery.
I should thoroughly recommend this trip.