We were warned that this resort (White Sandy Beach) was not as friendly and had a bad vibe. It always startles me how divergent people’s perceptions can be. I don’t know why I should be so surprised after all people are always having arguments about one thing or another, but I really can’t see how anyone could be upset at having landed on this island. We have hammocks between trees, a lovely ‘bure’, a beach with snorkelling (Jacob is out there now) and swimming with manta rays. Louise wangled a trip out to seem them. She has become good friends with the owners daughter (ata girl), and was offered the boat trip for free, she was to just sit and watch but became so animated when she saw the beasts that the guide put a life jacket on and lowered her in. She came back with tales of how big the rays were, of course we thought there was a lot of fisherman telling in the tale. Talking to the guys later that night it appears that she really did see some mighty monsters, more than 3m across!
I must admit to being highly sceptical about the size of these Manta Rays so today I got up at 6 and took the morning boat to have a look at the ‘devil below’. At first I was flapping about in the water seeing nothing thinking I would have been better with a coffee in a beach side hammock watching the sea birds fish. There whoops and hollers from others in the party, but I saw nothing, so despondent did I become that I passed the camera to another person in the hope that I would have at least some photos. Next snorkel and just as I went down, there was a huge mouth opening up before me. Before I could react the behemoth gracefully glided down and underneath me. Wow. There followed a most fantastic ½ an hour or so as we tried to get in the current that the mantas were following at the right time; too soon and we would be swept along too quickly, too late and the manta with its massive wings would glide by and be gone all too quickly, great fun and completely wild.
Jacob and I drifted out to a reef far out in the bay off White Sandy Bay, we didn’t mean to go so far out but with reef after reef of stunning coral it is difficult not to loose a sense of time and place. Jacob driffted off a further 50m. I checked my watch, we had spent an hour and a half driftting about, I looked up and we were a good 500m of the coast. The head land that I thought was the one out of the bay was in fact several round. Not only that but it ws fast approaching lunch – something we couldn’t be late for. I called for Jacob, he seemed to be on a mission to swim to the next island. In fact he had spotted a shark and was following it to see ‘what it was going to do’. We tried to race home but I guess it would be the equivalent of Angela wondering down a street of charity shops; even though she had seen all the stuff before and she should get back to the office, she can’t resist just one more look. We were nearly an hour late, I was most put out not to have seen a shark. I am not sure how true that is, swimming around in the blue I suddenly get a sense of vuntrability, after all there are big sharks out here. Next time I will take the camera – just in case.