Posted by: B_rad
Yap Divers and the Manta Ray Bay Hotel 4th of July holiday week on the island – This is today’s Yap status report, the latest dive conditions and a demonstration of Bill Acker’s custom hospitality game.
Unique Dive Vacation Options
Private beach party for 10 with a 4 course BBQ and kegged micro-brew, the perfect blend of an American holiday and Yapese delivery.
It’s not every day you find yourself grilling under coconut trees that are growing out of a gold sand beach on a magical island, that’s a Manta Ray Bay special.
This is the kind of hospitality that you’ll find here in Yap.
Everyone loves a private beach party and this is an option that is available to you here, Bill doesn’t mind getting custom one bit.
Excellent Dive Conditions and Consistent Wildlife Presence
100+ feet of vis, consistent manta action at multiple sites, sharks on almost every dive, massive schools of fish in the channel and all reef creatures present and accounted for.
Setting a Good Example
Bill’s team of dive guides take the time to explain how to dive the Manta cleaning station. The cleaning station is kept for the Manta’s and divers post up in excellent viewing distance without disturbing the natural order of things.
“Blurry Manta photos – But, one heck of a Manta story”
Here’s an interesting sequence from the Manta Ray Cleaning Station – the “Had to Duck” Manta pass. Photo 1 is just Manta face and photo 2 is a ten inch patch of Manta belly. Not much for framing and hanging on your wall, but a unique story to take home that is all Yap Manta diving.
“Yap Manta diving is actually a Manta Encounter”
One of the key reasons the Manta encounters are so consistent and right up in your visor is that Yap divers preserve their presence and natural behavior through respectful spectating. They swim right overhead passing within arms reach and in yesterday’s case, a diver about got a giant Manta kiss.
Boyd had to dodge a Manta not once, but twice, within the same sequence of photography. The same day on a different part of the reef, two snorkelers had a Manta pass directly underneath them and hang around for about half an hour, solid interaction time.
We’re told not to touch or chase Mantas and no divers go on top of the cleaning station… but if a Manta comes up to you, it’s a fair game experience.
Clear Water, Brilliant Color, Caverns and How it all happens
The dive operation runs in the background like an algorithm; tide calendar, visibility reports, guest preference, guest preference changes… everything is put together, written down and planned, then every boat winds up with exactly enough tanks, towels, tea and snacks for everyone onboard.
“They really spoil you here.” – The attention of the staff and the guides score huge points with the hands-freeness of the dive operation.
It’s all to your benefit, so that you get what you came for. With boat groups of 4 to 6 well-briefed divers, the wildlife is viewed as if you were the first person to the site.
The small group’s footprint underwater is nominal, sleeping sharks are still sleeping after divers drift by, Mantas hang around for a group’s entire dive and schools of fish are left undisturbed.
This means that the last person in the group gets the same experience as the first diver onsite – natural and undisturbed sea life in clear water.
Each dive site offers something unique and often times there’s a surprise in store for divers.
The shark action is great in Yap for several reasons; first the sharks are big enough that you’re stoked to be in the pictures with them… and second, their small enough that it’s not a mind game.
“The best shark dive in Micronesia…“
Black-tip reef sharks, Grey sharks and white tips come out of the blue and host a spectacular array of behavior, in Yap fashion, right up in your lens.
Today’s shark dive went on for over 90 minutes, plenty of time to see the action from different angles and get in close with the cameras to go home with that gem for your personal media library.
Out on the reef’s edge, a few frozen tuna heads on a string goes a long way. It’s just enough to capture the interest of the reef without anything getting too excited. Sharks patrol from the distance, then start circling the bait up close and once in a while one of them will bare all its teeth, latch on and start shredding. Shark behavior encounters, with just enough action that it is exciting, yet doesn’t spook anyone.
Yap sharks accompany all of the big water dive sites, strafing the reef walls, taking naps at the channel’s bottom and even baby greys hanging at Yap Corner. The shark population is healthy and there’s a lot of interaction in a dive day. Even inner reef kayaking and snorkeling offers shark sightings.
Creating a Community
Bill is creating a community of divers who are experiencing Yapese culture as well as the island’s sea life. That is what you experience at Manta Ray Bay, a blend of everything Yap with cool people from all over the world who expect small group diving at your pace with personalized hospitality options. It’s a unique offering among dive operators in Micronesia.
Clear water, natural marine life encounters, people, culture and custom services.
What people have to say
“Yap offers something for everyone.” Clear water, excellent diversity of underwater topography and abundance of wildlife, big and small. There’s wall dives, sloped corral reefs, sand bottom sites, caverns and canyons, channels and ridges… and the marine life spans from large animals to all the “little stuff”.
“The most convenient dive operation in Micronesia” – From your bed, to the restaurant, to the dive and photo shop, to the boat dock… all within 40 feet. It really doesn’t get any easier.
“It’s strange to be on a dive site and be the only boat out here.” – Less people, small boats and exclusive dive sites.
Yap Status Report
I’m Brad, the new point man in charge when it comes to blogging what is going on out here. I pretty much get just screw around all day… then host show and tell on the Internet after all the fun’s been had. Bill wants people to know today’s operation, so here you can ride shotgun with me on a unique line at Bill’s dive op, hotel and restaurant.
We’re going to be in the water every morning, talking about what’s going on and how it is diving Yap, today. Dive reports, water conditions, animals, people and the fun channeled to you through my mac book pro and a handful of surviving camera equipment.
The week of the 4th of July is the kick-off to the B_rad Yap status report. I’ll be chiming in all the time with all sorts of stuff as I do them and telling the story here.
Date Posted: July 11, 2012 @ 4:43 pm Comments (2)