Coral Bay, Ningaloo Reef, WA (part 2)

As promised in our Coral Bay post,  the photos from Pete the professional underwater photographer have arrived.

He was on our ‘Swim with the Reef Manta Rays’ with the ‘Ningaloo Reef Dive and Snorkel’ company at Coral Bay.

This is Pete with his underwater camera. He works for Ocean Collective Media.

Here are some of the photos he took.

Here are his photos of the reef manta rays. In some photos you can see us snorkeling above them. There are two types of manta ray,  the ‘giant oceanic manta ray’ which can grow up to 9 metres wide and don’t tend to stay in any one location, and the ones that live at Coral Bay which are ‘reef manta rays’. Reef manta rays grow up to 5.5 metres wide and tend to stay in the one location,  their gestation period is 12 months and they give birth to live ‘pups’. They live for around 30 years, have a large mouth and eat plankton. On each side of their mouth they have large flat ‘cephalic lobes’ which they keep coiled when swimming but uncoil when feeding to help siphon water into their mouths. For the past 15 years research has been done to monitor and record the manta rays of Coral Bay called ’Project Manta’.  One of the crew, Vicky, has been part of that research team since its inception. Amongst other things, she collates photos of the underbellies of the reef manta rays: each one has different markings and that’s how they identify individual rays.

As well as snorkelers like us, there were some scuba divers on board.

Cheers from Helen and Tim.