Her first Manta encounter

A Manta

by Hannah McClure
I smelled the salty air as I strapped on my scuba gear.  I was anxious to get into the ocean.  I hoped and hoped and hoped that I would see the one thing I’ve always wanted to see:  a manta.
This summer, I was in Yap, an island in Micronesia, to scuba dive with my family.  This morning, I was excited to go scuba diving with my friend, Sophie.  My other friends were scuba diving with their parents, so it was just Sophie, Bill Acker (our instructor), Patricia Mangthin (his wife) and I.  Bill had decided that we would go to the manta cleaning station to try to see some manta rays.  We had tried so many times that my hopes weren’t too high, but as we got closer and closer to the diving site, my hopes inched higher.
Now, here I was, my hopes higher than the sky.  I put on my mask and stuck my regulator into my mouth.  As I tumbled into the water, I shivered.  The water wasn’t cold, but I always feel chilly when I first jump in.  When everyone was in the water, we descended into the ocean.
Sophie and I swam through the cool, salty water.  We spotted brightly colored fish and little hermit crabs but no mantas.  My heart sank.  Just as I was about to give up, Sophie jabbed me in the shoulder.  I was about to give her that “what did you do that for?” look when I realized she was pointing at something.  I looked.
“A manta! A manta!” I yelled. I had my regulator in my mouth, so it came out like, “Blubablurbla!”
Patricia waved at us to come to a better place to watch.  The manta ray was so big and graceful as it swan through the blue sea.  It had a white belly and a dark blue back. Soon, another one came and joined it.
As we swam back to our boat, I replayed what just happened in my head.  My heart was pumping hard in my chest.  I was so excited!  It was the first time I had ever seen a manta ray, but not the last.