With the kind permission of iDive Maldives
At the northwestern end of the wide Rasfari lagoon is a shallow plateau surrounded by a quite steep slope reef. The plateau is covered with hard corals and hosts a cleaning station during the outgoing currents of the northeast monsoon. The wall surrounding the plateau presents many corals and algae, which host many species such as leaf fish, halimeda ghost pipefish, lobsters, turtles and moray eels.
The water entry can be performed anywhere on the reef, which is protected from the current, and requires no specific instructions. If Manta rays are present near the surface, it is recommended to enter nearby.
If Manta rays are present on the site, the dive can only be done in the shallow waters of the top reef. Divers can stay close to the cleaning station to observe the rays, but are advised to stay in one place and avoid making large and quick movements in order not to scare them away. During the dive, you should pay extra attention to safety. Indeed, many boats may cross the area to spot rays, and it may be dangerous due to the shallowness of the water. If Mantas are not on the site yet, divers can swim along the reef right shoulder or left shoulder according to the current.
The reef algae host many leaf fish and halimeda ghost pipefish. The end of the dive can take place on the top reef that hosts many healthy hard corals.
The ascent and safety stops are done on top of the reef. Manta rays may be mainly present at the surface, looking for food. In this case, snorkeling can be more adapted to observation. Snorkelers will need to be very careful about the boats and carry an SMB. In order not to damage the top reef's healthy corals, it is better to find a bare area before positioning yourself at the bottom to observe the rays. This site is particularly interesting during the northeast monsoon, and is suitable for beginners.
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