Manta Arch… a classy Grey Nurse Shark dive…
This is South Solitary Island’s Grey Nurse Shark home.
Hang on for a great adventure!
Manta Arch has become over the years the iconic dive of South Solitary Island.
The Grey Nurse Sharks are a protected species, that is great to dive with it’s slow movements, and curious nature. When diving with them, we need to approach them carefully, so as not to scare them!
Manta Arch boasts in the Winter, “Grey Nurse Shark season”, the home of up to 60 Sharks. All this is an area as big as our shop!! As time has gone on, we have found that the grey Nurse sharks are staying in the area all year round. This summer we have had dives and counted over 40 different sharks in one dive!!
Manta Arch divesite features a deep archway over a narrow gutter, and is where the local Grey Nurse Sharks hang out! It appears this overhang and the depth of the gutters that surround the area, are magnets for these magnificent animals. Manta Arch is rated as a advanced divesite because of the depth, however if you know where you are going, you can do a 12 metre dive there too!
What you’ll see at Manta Arch..
What you see on most dives!
What you might see, if you’re lucky!
Hazards or Dangers
Depending on the East Australian Current, Manta Arch Mooring can be exposed to quite strong currents, this can make it difficult to start the dive in this location.
Once underwater and near Little Birdy island, you can escape the major flow.
The current usually heads from north to south around the island, and can be too strong to swim against. Manta Arch on a small current day, is a great dive with the big Pelagics usually being attracted by the water movement. Be careful if you are diving from a boat without a surface watch! We do not recommend this in this area with that current!
Manta Mooring is in 21 metres of water! Inexperienced divers who don’t understand multi-level diving principles, can easily go over their table limits and also slip into deco on their computer if they follow the bottom contour back to the mooring from shallower depths.
We recommend that the mooring line is used for all ascents, to avoid the possibility of popping to the surface, from that depth, divers are fooled by the expanding air in their vests (being a greater distance to ascend than our normal moorings). Rapid ascents have been responsible for Decompression Sickness at these deeper sites!
We usually operate our charter Dive Trips to Manta Arch with guidance on not only the location, but on diving with Grey Nurse Sharks!
We pride ourselves with following the code of conduct with diving with Grey Nurse Sharks. You don’t know it? Follow this link to our Grey Nurse Sharks page to find out more!