By Ambassador Andrew Raak
Check out this amazing footage of gigantic manta rays descending on a shipwreck off the coast of South Carolina, USA. Manta rays are native to tropical and subtropical waters and rarely make it north to the colder waters off the coast of the United States.
Andrew was lucky to catch close-up footage of these gentle giants as they cruise on by with their posse of remora, amid the local crew of sharks, tarpon, and small bait fish.
Typically this would happen when you left your camera on the boat, or when shooting with a 100mm macro lens. Thankfully that didn't happen this day.
"One of my favorite things about scuba diving is that there is never any telling as to what lies beneath the waves. This dive started like any other offshore South Carolina, until our dive master came to the surface shouting Manta! Manta! Manta! My camera was ready to go and I entered the water. I was hoping to have a glimpse of this ray, but then to my surprise multiple mantas were circling my dive buddy and I. I was in absolute in shock. Normally, an encounter like this would include a $1,500 flight to Indonesia, maybe a trip to Hawaii or French Polynesia, but to see these majestic creatures in my very own backyard of the ocean was amazing. This summer has been exceptional with Manta spotting offshore of Murrells Inlet, SC. It seems late June and early July may be becoming Manta season along the Hammock Coast." - Andrew Raak
This footage was shot with a Canon EOS 60D camera in Ikelite housing. Check out RaakBottomImaging on YouTube for Andrew's other videos including his regular Captain's Report updates on local dive conditions.
Ambassador Andrew Raak always dreamed about making a life on the water, and he has made it a reality. Andrew has a degree in Marine Science, a Captain's license, and is a certified dive instructor. At the moment he spends his days on the boat in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, when he's not traveling the world and teaching underwater photography. Read more...