Monday, June 22, 2020

Swimming with Manta

Manta is a very big fish. It looks like a bird. I saw it a few months ago when I was guiding some Czech tourists in Raja Ampat. There is a place in the open sea where manta fish like to gather to clean their bodies. People call the place Manta Point.  When we were at the point, we could feel sea current in the area. So, we had to swim continuously to keep our position above it.
If you have never seen manta in its natural habitat, please, look at the following sketch of the Manta Fish with a women freediver.

Cleaning Station
Manta "glide" or "fly" around the place while their bodies are being cleaned from tiny marine creatures that attach to them by small fish that live in the nearby rocks. The small fish eat the "dirts" whereas the mantas get free cleaning service.
It is a kind of mutualism symbiosis between the giant fish and the small fish.
Watercolored version of the Manta sketch

I work as tourist guide in West Papua, I often accompany tourists in the jungle to do wildlife watching and at sea to enjoy snorkeling. That's why you will see that most of my drawings or sketches in this blog are derived from nature as the source of my art inspiration.
Ecotourism that I promote helps local people generate some income by working as cooks, porters, rangers and boat drivers and at the same time preserve the marine and rainforest environment.
Vector Graphic
I also like to make vector drawing that I develop from my sketches. The drawing below is not exactly the same as my sketch above but it reflects the same idea about how big the mantas are compared to human as represented by the freediver.

This vector drawing is now available as printed materials in zazzle. One of them is the t-shirt below:

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