Location: Rasfari, Maldives
Today was an amazing day. We woke up early, excited at the possibility of spotting manta rays. Two researchers from the Manta Trust, Nivand Moosa, graciously volunteered to come on board for the day to teach us about manta rays and accompany us to a site near the island of Rasfari, where mantascan often be found at a cleaning station being cleaned by small fish called cleaner wrasse. Before we jumped in the water with our snorkel gear, we were warned not to get our hopes up, but by the end of the day, we had seen 13 different mantas! Niv was able to identify which ones we saw and informed us of their gender, sighting histories, and, most importantly, their names. Shizzle, Toblerone, Voldemort, and Fatface were just a few of the impressive names. To our delight, we got to name three of our own: Brony, Seahawk, and Argo. After a long day of swimming with mantas, we used every last ounce of our energy to pack away dive gear and begin preparations for our upcoming journey to Jakarta. We topped off the night with warm cookies made by Forrest and Annie. Oatmeal chocolate chip coconut was a huge hit. Today marked our last day in the Maldives, and it was a perfect one.