Posted by: Daniel Brinckmann
Dear Manta Ray Bay friends,
Good news! Okay, you might have read the newsline before, but I find it important to go into detail.
I recently had the pleasure to chat with the lovely people of Marine Megafauna Foundation, fronted by Dr. Simon Peirce and Dr. Andrea Marshall, one of the leading scientists in all things manta ray.
Among many other things she was the biologist to establish the recent diversification between Reef Manta (Manta alfredi) and Pelagic Manta (Manta birostris)
I had the pleasure to meet her in Mozambique on a press assignment and Andrea also visited Yap before.
In the (sad) face of the increasing targetting and fisheries, we are proud to announce that we made it onto her worldwide list of “Top 10 Favourite Manta Ray Viewing Destinations“.
This is what the Queen of Mantas says about Yap and us:
“[...] Besides the nice conditions, Yap boasts one of the only year-round populations of manta rays, known to be virtually accessible all of the time. Many of the staff including owner Bill Acker (a.k.a Manta Man) have been diving this island for years, and are extremely knowledgeable about these resident rays. Keen to protect their own, they also are very conservation oriented and have strict codes of conduct in place for diving with the rays at cleaning stations. Yap also remains one of only a handful of places on earth where manta rays are protected by law.“
This is a nice recognition of the efforts made by the government of Yap to protect these animals, and picking us as the original dive resort of the island is a nice recognition of our efforts to keep the mantas’ habitats intact by our own code of conduct.
I really, really hope that the government will follow suit and protect sharks as well. There would be a huge benefit for both animals and people.
We will continue to do our best to pay respect to our beloved flying carpets of the sea and also support Andrea with her studies. They are more important than ever!
Andrea’s website: www.queenofmantas.org
Date Posted: May 16, 2012 @ 5:53 am Comments Off
Posted by: Bill Acker
On the 2nd of May, Bill Acker, Patricia Acker and Jan Sledsens left Yap for quite a trip. While Patricia split from the group in Honolulu in order to fly to Atlanta to be with her sister, Bill and Jan flew to Denver and then rented a car for the short drive to Fort Collins, Colorado.
The purpose of the trip to Colorado was to spend time with Mr. Watson DeVore of SSI in order to up-grade our teaching status to Dive Control Specialist Instructor which, among other things, will allow both Bill and Jan to conduct crossover training for other instructors thus enabling them to become part of the SSI family. During the trip, we toured the headquarters operation, met all of the staff and had a lovely dinner the last night with Doug McNeese, President of SSI and his wife Kathy plus Watson and his wife Susan and their daughter MaKenna.
All in all, a lovely trip with great people and a success all around. We look forward to being able to host SSI dive centers from around the world and show their guests the beauty of Yap both above and below the water.
Doug & Kathy McNeese, Bill Acker, Jan Sledsens, Susan & Watson DeVore
Date Posted: May 10, 2012 @ 1:26 am Comments Off
Posted by: Bill Acker
Recently we had the honor of having 6 divers from Switzerland among our other international dive guests. Turns out these folks were not a group but just happened to book Yap at the same time and thus naturally became a group. That’s one of the great things about diving, you see different places, explore different cultures and meet different people – some of whom become lifelong friends. Hopefully that will be true for Markus & Petra, Thomas & Martin and Beno & Sylvia.
Markus & Petra came because of Mr. Jan Sledsens, our Dive Operations Manager, who was representing us at the Zurich dive show and was taken to a unique “whisky bar” by Patrick & Cyril former guests of ours. As so often happens in bars, Jan bellied up to the bar and began a conversation with the bartender and after a few samples of different whiskies from around the world, Markus – the aforementioned bartender was smitten. Lo and behold, 2 months later, he and his wife were checking into our dedicated dive resort.
Thomas & Martin managed to make their own way here as part of a larger Micronesian dive holiday. These guys were very special as both are hearing impaired yet got along with everyone very easily. They have been traveling together before and have hiked and biked a large portion of the world. Before leaving, they mentioned that their next trip to Micronesia would be a Yap standalone trip.
Jan met Beno & Sylvia at the FESPO dive show in Zurich where they were discussing a Philippine, Indonesia & Micronesia trip. They asked Jan if Yap should be one of their Micronesia stops and after a few minutes, Yap was on the schedule. Beno has posted a short movie on our facebook site and one of the highlights of his trip was getting his teeth cleaned by several cleaner shrimps at Slow & Easy.
Now back to the original title of this post, what do you call 6 Swiss in a pool without a beer? Anyone with a good answer to this question is encouraged to let us know by commenting on this post.
Markus & Petra, Beno & Sylvia and Martin & Thomas
Date Posted: May 1, 2012 @ 12:39 pm Comments (2)