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Steve Irwin

Night diving among the manta rays on the Big Island of Hawaii

Night diving among the manta rays on the Big Island of Hawaii

One big step off the boat and into the dark. When I hit the water, I feel all the familiar feelings, the ocean seeping into my wetsuit, the frantic bubbles on my face, the ineffable moment when the body's gyroscope switches over from gravity to buoyancy. But nothing else is familiar. I'm floating free in the blue-black ocean, a few hundred yards from Kona's volcanic bluffs. The water is about 40 feet deep here, but just a few hundred yards to the west the Big Island's seamount plunges into the miles-deep oceanic abyss. A quarter moon silhouettes the dive boat Honu 1, where the dive masters are tossing out flashlights to their clients bobbing in the dark. Each diver has a...

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