Posted by: Daniel Brinckmann
The week after we had two more fantastic encounters with these 4 animals. Being smart as they are, they seem to become more familiar with the boat and these strange humans in rubber suits watching them from every angle possible. Everytime the encounters took place between the South-East part and the South tip of the island. Sometimes we would meet 3 of them as one of the adults was off hunting or doing whatever it felt necessary to do.
In addition to the Orcas, we had this pod of roughly 100 spinner dolphins again showing up between Manta Ray Bay Resort and the south tip of the island. While this species of dolphin is not really inquisitive, I had a few chances to photograph them.
Orca Update #2:
The Orcas (and the spinners) are still around, and despite of the rough sea we had another great meeting with these gentle giants. Actually this was the fifth day with Orcas. Judging from what fishermen told us, they are already here for almost six weeks now. New citizens of Yap? Conditions seem to become harsh, but on the other hand the four whales became really playful. Actually they were coming so close to the boat that we all got wet from the splashing of their black & white fins. More than once. I guess a certain small group from Switzerland was quite happy that day! Unfortunately, under the surface we were embraced by lack of contrast due to the cloudy weather and the waves swallowing the last beams of light. That truly was a drag because the whales would even come our way, swam upside down and showed a natural behavior that clearly underlined they did not feel uncomfortable at all. Maybe it should have been us who should have felt uncomfortable sharing the water with predators that outgrow a great white shark?! Anyway, I still hope they stay around until conditions improve. And as much as Yap is not your average whale destination – we DO have a resident group of pilot whales though – it is not the first time we had Orcas. If we could only speak Whale!
Date Posted: October 30, 2009 @ 2:58 am Comments Off
Posted by: Daniel Brinckmann
Wednesday was a day that not only I myself will remember for the rest of my life: After a nice dive in Goofnuw channel with two mantas and a grey shark joining, our second boat brought the news: ORCAS !!! Confirmed by Captain John’s video frames.
We headed down south and eventually say 4 huge dorsal fins sticking out of the water. At the sixth attempt in the water one of the females approached us an swam past just feets below our own feet.
Crystal clear blue water and Orcas – that is something BBC film crews are begging for!
From then on we would see them a few times. Only our approach got… let’s say more professional: Jumping into the water and going after the whales at full fin power obviously did not do the job. You could fin forever (as some red faces indicated), but the animals always were faster even if they did not seem to move at all. We found out that they were in a much better position when we stopped the boat 60 feet in front of the whales and got into the water, hoping that they would not change their direction. Quite often we would see them passing us at 30 feet distance, which they kept as the bull and the cow had a semi-adult and even a calf (approx. 5 feet) with them. Seeking shelter obviously also was their reason for coming to Yap as Orcas normally tend to stay and feed in cooler water.
Does it get any better? Yes, indeed it does!
Following the Orcas on board of the „Silvertip“ the other day, it took us a long while before we realized that one of the fins did not belong to the whales. Once in the water it turned out to be a massive sunfish, the Orca toy of the minute!
Some of us, among them our new whale afficianados “Orca Boy“ Russell and Cecile, followed the whales, others kept track of the sunfish. Unlike the whales, that strange deep sea fish stayed with us for more than 20 minutes so everybody had a chance to shoot pictures.
When our dive center manager Jan tried to lure us into some shark action for the afternoon we all did not even consider going. Too much! WHAT A DAY!!!
Needless to say what became the attraction for the nocturnal slide show on Mnuw. “Can you show me the Orcas?“, was one of the things you would hear most often, with the casual “Now I hate you even more!“
In order to save some dignity for that sunfish off Yap Caverns: How could anybody expect it to stay while we were circling it like blueprints for predators? Well, it stayed and I’d say that’s not too bad for an animal with a brain of the size of a walnut!
Date Posted: @ 2:54 am Comments Off
Posted by: Daniel Brinckmann
Could you think about accomodation and diving for free in paradise, as a part of your profession? Well, product management for dive travel agencies means hard work at home for sure, but still I bet that Nicole (Pacific Travel House), Christine (Tropical Seas), Yvonne (Sun+Fun), Anna-Lena (Sub Aqua), Ziad (Key Largo) and Sylvain (Ultramarina) had a blast at our Manta Ray Bay Resort just like Meike from the German office of Yap Visitors Bureau.
In the five days of their stay they not only enjoyed the mandarin mating at Rainbow Reef and spotted some mantas and sharks in Goofnuw channel but even witnessed manta lady Valerie doing horizontal spins. Apart from some nice après-diving action such as kayaking, an island trip, the occasional brewery delight or even the infamous “peanut feed“ off the drop-off of our Infinity pool.
It was a pleasure, Ladys and Gents, and we are happy you are now all familiar with our resort. See you in Paris for the “Salon de Plonger“ and at Düsseldorf’s “boot“ show in January!
Date Posted: @ 2:45 am Comments Off