Manta Ray Gives Birth in Kona Waters

Big Bertha, as photographed by James L. Wing.

Our friends at Fair Wind snorkel cruises just informed us that a female Manta Ray known to frequent the waters near Keauhou Bay has recently given birth. Affectionately named Big Bertha, the mother ray is one of the most recognizable among the Manta Rays that glide along the leeward coast of Hawai‘i Island. With a wingspan of 16 feet, this gentle giant has been observed and chronicled by Fair Wind videographer James L. Wing during her 13-month gestation period.

According to Wing, Big Bertha had been courted by two males, Miles and Lightning, beginning in May 2010. It wasn’t long before Big Bertha began to show signs of being pregnant. For months, the videographer tracked her progress. Two new pups with markings similar to Big Bertha have just been spotted, giving rise to the theory that Big Bertha produced a set of twins. Manta Rays are not paternal, so the newborns are on their own after they are born.

The Hula Kai departs for Manta Village at sunset.

Nighttime Manta Ray dives are among the most unforgettable of Kona’s water activities. Fair Wind offers a Manta Snorkel and Dive adventure just outside of Keauhou Bay. The area, known as Manta Village, can also be viewed from the lanai of the Sheraton’s Crystal Blue lounge. Spotlights shining on the water’s surface create plankton that attracts Manta Rays. Another prime Manta Ray destination is located offshore of Keahole International Airport. To learn more about Kona’s incredible family of Manta Rays, visit

Holualoa Inn is located about 10 minutes down the hill from Keauhou Bay. Our staff can assist you in planning your Big Island itinerary, which could include a nighttime Manta Ray dive and/or snorkel in the gentle waters of the Kona Coast. Our romantic Hawaiian bed and breakfast makes the ideal home base for a plethora of island activities.

Innkeeper Holualoa Inn