Yap Status Report
We’ve had some excellent weather and dive conditions recently resulting in solid photo ops around the island. These are my lastest snaps from the past couple of weeks from 6-8 dives. Right now is a good time to be in the water and to get in on all of this. Here’s what it looks like today and what’s going on…
Early summer means a couple of things; the trade winds have died down and the Mantas are done mating.
The whole island’s dive map is on the radar now and we’re getting into a lot of life out in the water.
Sharks, mantas, turtles, rays, macro reef life, eels and big fish in triple digit visibility every time we step outside the reef or hit the channels right.
Down at the southern tip of the reef, on the Pacific Ocean side is one of the best dive sites going right now.
A few of us have been hitting it every chance we get and bringing back rich dive reports.
Land’s End and Eagle’s Nest are the two most southern sites on this side of the island. When the current pumps the life comes out and we go on 3-4 knot ripping safari dives with more to see than you can take in all at once. Looking out to the blue at huge schools of barracuda or look into the reef at hovering Eagle Rays, giant Grouper and strafing sharks.
Three out of the Four times we’ve done this over the last couple of weeks have produced the highest quality dives outside of the ever-rich Vertigo and Stammtisch where you rub elbows with reef sharks and manta rays with daily consistency.
The trick is finding the current, the more current the more life… at the end of the drift you hit an eddy where two distinct water temperatures collide in an vortex of fish schools, rays and reef sharks in clear water. We’ve been practicing down there to get things right for this summer’s diving.
When the current pumps too hard, the ride ends in less than half an hour… not enough current and it’s a mile-long kick.
Yesterday we covered two dive sites and popped up a hundred yards from the Caverns mooring, when we get this right, we’ll be able to drop in and ride the reef across two dive sites and kick out of the current’s eddy to hook up with our boat at the Caverns amphitheater.
A little bit of dive R&D has been going on over here with a strong spirit of fun.
If you aren’t taken to Eagle’s Nest, tell your dive guide and schedule the boat for a low tide roll in. Everybody goes to Stammtisch and Vertigo and you won’t miss the Caverns… but there’s some sites out here that are must-do’s during your stay and the southern tip has a couple of them.
They dive in cold water, low/no-vis and have to have a cage around them to keep from being picked off by a Great White.
Those guests went on a ripping current ride through the wildlife safari and asked why it wasn’t the first dive they were taken on – they called it “An aquarium on a conveyor belt…”
Along with the recent reef rides, we have been moving shark bait around the island with mixed results and taking a bottle with us on every trip.
The shark action has been amplified, last week, along with typical Vertigo, we had a huge leopard shark in M’il Channel that was one-third tail, we were passed by six feet of shark and over three feet of shark tail.
When you hit M’il with the tide you can get three dives sites out of one tank. We drifted from the clear blue at Yap Corner all the way passed the ridge deep inside the lagoon. We had eagle rays passing mantas, schools of jacks, sharks and a grouper bigger than the blogger at the reef bottom on our way through M’il.
Yesterday I woke up a big nurse shark at the end of our dive down south, my first one seen in Yap.
All of the recent action has been nice, a lot of young turtles are seen doing whatever turtles do out on the reef as well as a full presence of reef fish.
In July, we have some guests who chartered Popou for a three-day outer island wreck dive adventure to Ulithi atoll. Yap summer is off to a strong start.
Right now, this is what the diving looks like – there’s still mantas being cleaned at Stammtisch and schooling sharks at Vertigo.
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Photos by: Brad Holland | facebook.com/bradlifestyle
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