- Published: Thursday, 23 October 2014 09:00
- Written by Doug Hansen
Our nighttime manta ray tour took us far out into ocean until the boat anchored and we entered the cool water, grasping the handles of our long surfboard while waiting for what some called "the experience of a lifetime." In the gloomy depths below, giant manta rays with 10-to-20-foot wingspans slowly emerged from the darkness to feed on the tiny plankton swarming around our lights. These ocean acrobats always performed a barrel roll as they fed, gliding mere inches beneath us and allowing us to peer deep into their astonishingly large, luminescent gullets. A nearby girl screamed at the sight, but in reality these behemoths posed no danger as they lacked teeth or stingers. What an unforgettable introduction to the unique wonders of Hawaii, the Big Island.