Report from Caroline Worley aboard day boat Amelia
What better way to finish a North Safari than with a manta sighting? Something that you would typically expect to find on the big wall dives of Ras Mohammed, the Marine Parks or St Johns All aboard Amelia this week were delighted - not to mention a little shocked - to be joined mid dive at the Carnatic by this large pelagic!
The Carnatic is a firm favourite with divers both on Northern Safaris and daily divers from Hurghada, famous for the soft corals and exposed beams - perfect for nudibranch hunting and scorpion fish spotting. Whilst working our way around the wreck, the peace was shattered by someone rather urgently shaking a rattle to get our attention. Then we all spotted her. Sailing in gracefully from the blue at about 10m was a very dark manta, about 3 metres point to point. She floated right up to wreck itself, in no hurry, giving all of the divers from Madrid more than enough time to check her out. Moving towards the stern section she appeared to be leaving, when she did a smooth 180 and looped back to travel down the length of the entire wreck, before disappearing back off into the blue. A brief but incredibly exciting encounter.
So for those who think they have seen it all in the North, think again. Add to this a week packed with turtles and dolphin, and the Red Sea's reputation for awesome Spring diving is confirmed - just a taster of what the next couple of months will hopefully bring.