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Another Manta Ray Snorkel question

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Another Manta Ray Snorkel question

Can someone recommend a Manta Ray Night Snorkel tour that leaves out of Keauhou Bay? I believe Keauhou is the shortest boat ride to the snorkel location.

We would also prefer a tour for snorkelers only. (not divers + snorkelers).

Thanks!

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1. Re: Another Manta Ray Snorkel question

A note first that the Keauhou location is seeing significantly fewer manta rays than the airport location. I would go with Jack's and to the airport.

But if you really want Keauhou, I would go with Sea Paradise. If you are interested in going via kayak, Kohala Kayak leaves out of Keauhou as well and uses the Hobie Mirage paddle or pedal kayaks.

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2. Re: Another Manta Ray Snorkel question

Keauhou is not the shortest boat ride if the mantas are at the airport site. The harbor at Honokohau is the closest launch to the airport. It takes a while to get from Keauhou to the Kailua pier, and then on past that. It's really disappointing to go look for mantas and then not see them (I know from experience), so I would definitely want to go to the site where the action has been. The tours all track the numbers showing up at each site, and will share them with you if you ask.

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3. Re: Another Manta Ray Snorkel question

The boats that leave out of Keauhou don't go to the airport site and the boats that leave out of Honokohau don't go to Keauhou regardless of the action. There have been periods in the past when the Keauhou site went dry and the boat tours just stopped leaving from Keauhou entirely but that's hasn't been the case for some time. The Keauhou site has been fairly consistent for at least the past couple of years, but not as consistent and not the numbers of the airport site.

You can see at this site statistics at both places. In April, six nights there were zero mantas at the Keauhou site. There was only one such night at the airport site. The average number of mantas at the airport site in April was about 15 with seven nights of 20+. The Keauhou site averaged about 2-3 and never had more than 7. This is a fairly typical month.

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4. Re: Another Manta Ray Snorkel question

Oh, I did not realize that there are different Manta Ray sites. Thanks for letting me know.

So, the boats go where the Manta Rays are at during that night? So, if we leave via the Keauhou site, and there are no rays, then the boat cruises over to the Airport site?

Is the Airport site generally better than the Keauhou site year round, or does it depend on the time of the year? We are arriving in about a week.

Big Island, Hawaii
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5. Re: Another Manta Ray Snorkel question

No, the boats do not go where the mantas are. The Keauhou boats only go to the Keauhou site and if you're skunked you're out of luck. Same with the airport site. There is no difference in time of year, the Keauhou site has been less productive than the airport site for many years.

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6. Re: Another Manta Ray Snorkel question

We just did it withe Sea Paradise last week. Really good operation. We saw a couple when we went. They have a guarantee that you can join in again within 7 days if you don't see any on your first time out. Also if you are doing day snokeling tour too, you can get 50% off second tour.

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7. Re: Another Manta Ray Snorkel question

When I was typing post #4, I did not see your post #3.

Okay. Thanks. We will go to the airport site.

One more question: How strongly do you recommend sea sickness pills for this night snorkel?

We rarely use motion sickness pills. Never used it on Maui, not even for boat rides to and from Lanai island.

We did use these pills for our White Shark Dive in South Africa, only because they HIGHLY recommended them, and said that everybody take these pills, and those that they didn't regretted it. I am just wondering if everybody on the night snorkel is strongly advised to take them.

Anyone survived the night snorkel without sea sickness pills? Sea Sickness pills make me drowsy, so I don't like to take them for just in case. We have not snorkeled in night time before.

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8. Re: Another Manta Ray Snorkel question

We used Jack's Diving Locker last night to see the manta rays at Keahou Bay next to the Sheraton. Jack's did a great job-very friendly and helpful staff. We left from Honokohau Harbor near the airport. I think they just changed locations because they were seeing more at Keahou this week. It took about 30 or so minutes to get to the location by boat. After arriving, we were in the water a long time and saw lots of rays. They stayed near us and turned and flipped right under where we were floating. We did not see more than 10 rays I would guess, but we saw them almost the entire time we were in the water. Truly amazing experience. I wore a full diving suit and still felt cold at the end of the trip. My son and husband didn't get very cold. At least three people on our boat threw up after getting out of the water, so if you get queasy, I would take something. I don't think it was the boat ride alone, but maybe a combination of hanging onto a float and being in the water for awhile. Maybe try the bracelet things or the ear patch if pills make you feel drowsy. I didn't take anything, but felt slightly queasy after getting back on the boat to head back. Jack's did not tell us to take medication, but this boat is much smaller than the boat we rode on to go from Maui to Lanai (Trilogy catamaran). The manta rays were amazing!! It is a wonderful experience--I am really glad we did it!

Big Island, Hawaii
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9. Re: Another Manta Ray Snorkel question

Thanks for that ATravel, I was unaware that Jacks was going to Keauhou out of Honokohau. I guess the best advice is to check with each operator.

HappyTraveler, The sickest I ever got was on the great white shark dive in SA. I personally would recommend motion sickness pills and bracelets for the manta ray snorkel, just to be on the safe side.

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10. Re: Another Manta Ray Snorkel question

Aloha,

Thanks a whole bunch for the tips to go with Jack's to the airport location!! We had 30+ rays last night!! What a show. It was an amazing experience.

We were really good about not touching the rays. But the rays were very friendly. They kept coming up to us and molested us with their bellies! My kids loved it.

By the way, Shea. We liked the Manta Ray experience better than the White Shark dive in South Africa. The giant Manta Rays were magical to watch. The shark dive was freaking cold, and the ocean was really rough on our trip, huge swells plus some rain. It was a bit miserable to see the great Whites.

I think doing the White Shark dive once is enough, but we would love to snorkel with the rays again.