Manta Alley consists of several small rocky islands, some submerged, in the bay at the southern end of Komodo Island. The waters here can drop to 20°C, and the site is prone to strong currents. The currents dictate how you approach this dive, and an experienced dive guide or captain will ensure you drop in on the right point. If the conditions are right, start the dive from a submerged coral mound at 3-5 m on the northeast side of the rocks. As you descend, schools of fusiliers will meet you, occasionally parting as a hungry giant trevally darts through. Drift with the current around the northern tip of the rocks, and on to some submerged boulders and canyons on the western side. Here, from September to January, mantas can often be seen feeding in the rich waters. It is easy to spend an entire dive mesmerised by their graceful ballets. But this site has a lot more to offer. Large pelagics patrol the blue, and several species of shark are commonly seen. In the shallows, the surge-washed corals shelter a cacophony of small critters, and are a great place to explore during a safety stop or by snorkel. This site does experience some strong currents and heavy swells. Finish the dive close to the main rocks, to avoid ascending in open water. A surface marker buoy should be carried on all dives, but is particularly important here, where rolling waves can obscure a drifting diver.
The reef manta ray (Manta alfredi) is a species of ray in the family Mobulidae, the largest rays in the world. Among generally recognized species, it is the second-largest species of ray, only surpassed by the giant oceanic manta ray
Bleaching occurs when corals expel their symbiotic zooxanthellae - pigmented, algae-like protozoa that live within the coral's cells. High temperature, pollution or other stresses can cause the coral to expel its zooxanthellae, leading to a lighter or complete loss of color.