Manta Ray Bay
29 October 2008 | Drawaqa Island, Yasawa Islands, Fiji
This lovely spot has some of the best fish snorkeling we've found. We're told that the giant Manta Rays come here during the summer on a regular basis; but they had gone for the season before we arrived. The snorkeling is between two islands in a narrow pass that has a strong tidal current; the entire area is a marine preserve and all forms of taking fish and anchoring are prohibited. The fish are amazing, completely unconcerned about people. The Admiral has been busy checking off 3-4 new fish in her book every time we went in the water.
The "resort" at Manta Ray Bay is just a step above the backpacker lodges; food is good but not fancy, and a young crowd, partying late.
We are now about 10 miles south on the west coast of Waya Island at Octopus Resort, a notch above Manta, and one below the Blue Lagoon. A beautiful anchorage with sand bottom and beaches and nice shore facilities. The contrast between the local villages and the "resorts" couldn't be more striking; the villages are all about gathering food, the resorts all about getting a tan. For the guided visits to the villages the tourists women are reminded to cover their shoulders and knees, men to remove their hats; at the resort it is all about how much skin you can expose.