The latest featured entry in this year's Travel Highlights Competition is from Alyson Hilbourne.
Alyson has spent the last thirty years living and working overseas. She writes short stories and travel pieces and has been published in magazines in the UK and online. She loves travelling and sells short stories to fund her addiction.
I adjusted my mask, dipped my head below the surface and was rewarded with a huge manta directly below me, its mouth open, wing tips upturned like an A380, silently cutting through the water.
Everywhere I turned more appeared, slicing the cloudy, plankton rich sea, dark shapes uncloaking as they came into view.
They were hard to count. Twenty, thirty, fifty of these ocean titans swam below us, oblivious of the tourists and marine biologists snorkelling above, as they gorged for a few short hours on the food bonanza brought in by the high tide.
(Hanifaru Bay, The Maldives)