I was leaving the reef when a woman dive instructor mentioned that there was a Manta Ray out on the reef. She pointed towards the general area and I swam back out into deeper water and then started heading north. A friend, Don, swam up to me and asked what I was up to and I told him there was a Manta out here somewhere. I proceeded out into deeper water and further north into the current figuring I could let the current take me back on a sweep to the south if I didn't come across it. At one point I stopped and looked up for a bearing and saw and heard Don to the south and in shallower water that the Manta was over by him. It was great for the woman first to alert me and then to have Don also assist!
I had been expecting a large Manta that would be easy to spot from a distance but it turned out that this was a small youngster! Perhaps a wing span of 5' or so.
The manta was beautiful and quite "clean". It had bright white highlights and I used these in Photo Shop, post production, to bring the colors to what they would appear to be in much shallower water.
I wasn't sure how receptive the Manta would be to me joining it down on the reef and I could see that it was circling back to a cleaning station. You can see the pair of cleaner wrasses in some of the images. As it turned out, the Manta was fine with me near it and in fact because I was using a 20 mm lens, I had to back away from it to keep most of it in the frame. It was also fortunate that this was not a full grown Manta which allowed me to get closer and still include the full fish in the frame. The image directly below is a cropped closer view of the image directly above.