We heard that manta rays were known to frequent a reef by Vuro Levu Island, about 6 miles south of Dravuni.  Gaia had gone the day before so we had put a tracker on the boat so we could follow their route.  We dropped anchor close to the same spot Gaia had, on the west side of the island, next to a sandy beach, sheltered from the prevailing SE wind. We could see a campsite and a couple swimming along the shoreline.

Vuro Levu day anchorage

Day anchorage by Vuro Levu

Monty got in the water with his snorkel and mask and checked our anchor to ensure it would not get snagged while we went snorkelling for a few hours.

We pulled on our wetsuits and headed out in the dingy to the NE corner of the island.  It was just minutes after dropping into the water before we encountered three of the massive graceful prehistoric-looking creatures.


They seemed unbothered by our presence but we tried to give them lots of room.  We did not want to disturb them.


They vacuum the sea with their mouths wide open as they glide along.


The rays made several passes over the same coral heads not far from us.   We were told they use the rocks to remove some parasites that cling to their bellies, thus the term “cleaning station”.


Manta rays are another species under threat.


The water is typically murky which means food for them.  That makes getting a clear image of them a challenge.  Photo Credit: All the above photos were taken by Monty with our little Panasonic Lumix camera.  Well done, eh?

It was a thrilling experience for us both!