Various events were canceled this year due to the influence of COVID-19. Manta Festa, held annually by Manta Ray Bay Resort & Yap Divers, a diving resort in Yap, Micronesia, is no exception.
Manta fest is a diving photo contest held in a very homely atmosphere. Many enthusiastic fans are all over the world, and they fell lonley that the event was canceled. One of those fans, Judy Bennett, has started the virtual MantaFest 2020 on Facebook.
<<Yap family. So, the annual migration to Yap for Manta Fest 2020 should be starting. Instead Covid 19 has thrown a gigantic monkey wrench into everyone’s plans for life this year. Since it had to be cancelled, maybe we can make Manta Fest 2020 a virtual one. Let’s share images and videos from all our other years there together. The people, the places, aquatic life big and small, and of course, don’t forget the beer. Just a few a day, we have 2 weeks worth to share>>…… from group page announcemen
The groupe page aimed to invite people who participated in the Manta fest, to post photos and warm up old relations online. There are many pictures of a fun atmosphere such as, beautiful underwater scape and participants enjoyed diving, chatting, drinking….
The fun moments come back. I’m hoping we could get rid of COVID-19 as soon as possible and move freely around the world.
The visibility is not the same in even the same point, you know. We like clear water for diving. However, sometimes, murky water gives us a chance. When I took this photo, the visibility of the surface was awful. On that day, the sunlight didn’t reach the seabed where was ordinary days bright. I was Swimming in dim light with buddies. Suddenly this bunch of Orange cup coral was appearing in the spotlight of my flashlight. All tentacles were blooming. It looked like a bunch of orange color Daisy flowers. The Orange cup coral might have been mistaken for the night due to the dark surroundings. Owase, Mie, Japan
Whip coral garden at Nagase point, Owase, Mie, Japan. This is an inner bay point, but the tide is often fast. So, we can enjoy many kinds of soft coral. I like the whip coral garden. Whip coral is an invertebrate with long, whip-like branches covered in tiny polyps. are living on a big rock. The scenery a lot of the whip coral standing in the dim sea bed is very mysterious. Owase, Mie, Japan March 21 2020 -18m
When a diver illuminates up a gorgonian which looks like a large fan by his underwater flashlight, often, he may find out something reflecting in the light. Looking closely, he will see a very small shrimp staying on the branch. This is Hamodactylus noumeae( Commensal Shrimp). “Isobana-Kakure-Ebi” in Japanese. They are very tiny shrimps, around 0.5cm. The purple body seen through a transparent exoskeleton is beautiful. Body-color is depending on a host gorgonian color. Moreover, most of the body is transparent, so it is hard to find. They are also masters of camouflage and Ninja under the sea.
Do you know Kunoichi? Kunoichi means the Female Ninja. They are hiding, sometimes as a waitress, sometimes a teacher, sometimes as a wife, and performing spy activities. Kunoichi is an expert in camouflage. Kunoichi is there in the sea also. Elegant Squat Lobster, Allogalathea elegans (Adams & White, 1848) is one of them. This pic is not brand new. Several years ago, I took this. Today, I was checking my photos, and I find this. She was hiding in a feather star with her eggs a long time. Owase, Mie, Japan
This pic is not brand new. But my favorite. This guy is very tiny. Under 5mm long. Always behind seaweed or rock for hiding. And moving quickly. So it is so hard finding it out. Fortunately, the guide I was diving with was excellent. He has good eyes. And has the knowledge for this guy. Its favorite place or appearance time and so on. This seahorse had not had the scientific name longtime from it was discovered. Japanese divers have been calling it Japapigu longtime. Japapigu is the shortens the name from Japanse pygmy seahorse. This name is spreading to the world through the internet, the scientific name is named after this colloquial Japanese name.
Chromodoris orientalis is feeding seaweed on a rock.
This nudibranch is commonly found at Owase. It is known as “Shiro-Umiushi=White sea slug” in Japanese common name.
Their fashion is very simple. So white body with black spots and orange-yellow fringe. That’s all.
Don’t you think it looks so stylish?
Hi, this photo is not the same as I uploaded the previous time. The description of the photo is different. Thank you, Ron Silver. He taught me the correct name as below. “Based on geographic location, this is Dactyloptena orientalis (Dactylopterus volitans is an Atlantic/Caribbean species” This pic is taken at Owase, Mie, Japan. I re-upload the photo that corrects the name on the picture. Thank you.
Longfin batfish are often seen from late summer
to spring at the artificial reef point, called Gyosho point (The top is -18m. The
bottom is -23m). They come from anywhere with a couple or three. And will go
away to somewhere. At first, they are shy. When they look at divers, they hide
behind the reef blocks. However, after a while, you will be able to shoot from
nearby. It is a fun scene for them to swim behind divers looking for Longfin
batfish. This picture was taken during a “safety stop”. If they feel
like it, they will rise up with divers and see off. Owase, Mie, Japan. -5m
gurnard has beautiful bright spots on its back, so, there are many photos taken
from the top. But I like this angle. Big chest fins like wings. A dorsal fin
like a vertical tail. Pelvic fins like landing gears. It looks like a fighter
waiting for takeoff. When observing, it runs on the sea floor dexterously and
floats up around 10cm from the sea floor, flying about 1m and lands on the sea
bed. Flight performance doesn’t seem to be very good, yet, it’s cool. Kajika,
Owase, Mie, Japan. -18m
rare sea lives that appear to be bird feathers stuck in the bottom of the sand
is called a Sea pen. In Japanese, Umi-Era. The Umi means the sea. Era means
gills. Sea pens belong to octocoralia, so-called soft coral, like a Sea Wip or
tree coral. Ordinarily, this species is, during the day, it hides into the
sand, and when it gets dark, it is appearing from the sand, and spreads its
wings. However, in Hasama, even in the daytime, we can often see the mysterious
sight of the numbers of Sea pens are standing like the forest. Hasama,
Tateyama, Chiba, Japan. -18m.