A Magical Day in Micronesia

curious_turtle_800My name is Valerie Acker Sullivan and I am a dive guide in training at my family’s dedicated dive resort – the Manta Ray Bay. Today marked my 10th diving expedition as a member of the Yap Divers’ Crew and we were scheduled for an all day 3 tank dive.  Our boat driver was John John and our dive guide was R.J. along with myself.   The guests were a  local diver (Diana),  two single New Yorkers (Chad and Liza),  an American couple living outside of Tokyo, Japan (Dylan and Teresa), and an Israeli couple (David the diver and Naama his 5 month pregnant snorkeler wife).

Beginning at the dock everyone was having fun getting to know one another. We were greeted with a beautiful sunny day and calm waters so  the day was magical from the start. Our first stop was Yap Caverns (my personal favorite). The dive is full of caves and swim-throughs featuring several moray eels and lion fish to keep every diver happy.  On top of this we saw 2 leaf fish, 2 mantas shrimps and a white tip reef shark getting his daily grooming from a group of cleaner wrasses at the shark cleaning station. As if that wasn’t a wonderful first dive as it was, I saw a turtle as I was doing my safty stop. (Turtle number one of the day).

Our next stop was Big Bend along the west side of the island. This dive site was no less exciting for the moment we entered the water, we spotted a resting sting ray underneath a coral overhang and shortly afterwards a turtle. (Turtle number 2 of the day). There was a nice current with crystal clear water so we enjoyed a beautiful drift dive full of tropical fish and gorgeous corals.

dolpins_playing_in_the_blue_pacific_800On our way to the 3rd dive site we spotted mating turtles! (Turtles number 3 and 4 of the day) but the excitement continued as we came across a pod of dolphins! At first we were shocked that they didn’t want to play, so we jumped in with snorkels to see them. Shorty afterwards we realize why they didn’t play as we jumped in right on top of a school of barracudas which the dolphins were fishing for!  From the boat we watched as barracudas jumped out of the water in a frenzy trying to escape the dolphins! What an amazing experience.

leaf_fish_800Finally we arrive at Mi’l Channel. With everyone still hyped about all the excitement of the day, we almost passed up doing our final dive.  Boy that would have been a mistake – a big mistake. With perfect conditions – an incoming tide, crystal clear water and a tropical sunset – we jumped in. The channel was so clear you could see both sides and the bottom some 90 feet down. Riding the light current was a good relaxing way to end the day of diving and it would have been a fine ending to a wonderful day but as we arrived at Tzimoulis Ridge (sometimes still referred to as Manta Ridge), a solitary male manta came cruising by on his way out to sea. No sooner had I turned from watching him than I see an entire “herd” of mantas heading directly towards me.  In my excitement I lost count of how many mantas actually went by! It was a good thing that they finally passed because we were all almost out of air and haven’t even begun our safty stop!

mantis_shrimp_completely_extended_800Once on the boat we confirmed that there were 14 mantas altogether. That dive sealed the day for us and boy was it a day to remember.  I would like to tell everyone that it was just another typical day in Yap, but it was pretty special – even for here.  I am looking forward to joining my Dad, Bill Acker, on his weekly Thursday Diving Safari to see if we can repeat the spectacle.   I invite you to join me anytime and I will be happy to show you the underwater magic that is Yap Island.

Languages

Archives

Availability & Reservations

Jim Reilly
Jim Reilly
11:27 21 Mar 18
We stayed at the hotel and dove with Manta Ray divers in early December 2017. The hotel is very comfortable, well run and staffed with wonderful employees. During our visit my wife came down with an illness and the consideration and support from the hotel and dive staff could not have been better.read more
Sandy Stinson
Sandy Stinson
16:03 03 Mar 18
The staff couldn't be more friendly and accommodating. Food is good, (worth upgrading to include all meals). Diving is good too.read more
Alex Divinsky
Alex Divinsky
17:24 01 Jan 18
The best place to stay in Yap. The resort is really nice and clean, the scuba diving is great, and the docked ship that houses the bar, restaurant, and movie screen is very cool. I really enjoyed my stay here.read more
ASALI
ASALI
10:44 01 Jan 18
Offers one of the best accommodation service. It also has a uniquely designed restaurant.
Yi-Hsin Lin
Yi-Hsin Lin
00:53 21 Feb 17
The whole place centers around the scuba diving operation. Probably better to find somewhere else if you're not a diver. The dive operation was generally good, but a little too laid back - schedules weren't always clear, and sometimes would change without any notice. Sometimes it was hard to tell if this was really because of changing tides/weather or because of the island pace of life. Pizza is a surprisingly good option at the restaurant.read more
William Myers
William Myers
21:01 21 Jul 18
Great hotel. Have stayed twice.
Emily Caquelin
Emily Caquelin
04:10 02 Aug 18
Manta Ray Bay Resort is a great dive resort with extremely hospitable staff.
Daniel Granzer
Daniel Granzer
11:40 23 Aug 18
We were from 11.08 to 18.08 at the Manta Ray Bay resort and had unforgettable days there 😍In total we made 12 dives with wonderful encounters. Highlights were, of course, the manta rays in the Goofnuw Channel and many white tip reef sharks in the Shark City 🦈 But also we saw eagle rays, turtles 🐢 and buffalo head parrotfish. The hotel is beautiful and the whole team does a great job there. The food on the ship Mnuw, as well as the home-brewed beer are excellent. Thank you again to the whole team of Manta Ray Bay Resort and Yap Divers 👏🏼We also did a one-day land tour to explore the many beautiful places of this unique island. The beach is like in paradise🏝, stone money and relics from the second world war very worth to see! You find there also culturally typical houses with different meaning and use! It would be nice if more visitors would come to this great island and appreciate the great work that is done there! Anyway, we really enjoyed it and would come back anytime 🙏🏻✌🏼read more
Jonathan Gapith
Jonathan Gapith
10:31 19 Sep 18
Best dive resort around, amazingly friendly staff and great food on the mnuw
Rene Sten
Rene Sten
04:06 12 Oct 18
Bill and his family run a great dive resort, rooms are spacious and comfortable. Restaurant and bar provide good range of food and drink. Bill and his dive guides know the reef intimately and the diving is spectacular. Bill and his family make for a very friendly and rewarding experience in Yap.read more
Ms. Malinda
Ms. Malinda
13:52 14 Oct 18
Great place to stay while visiting the island. Lots of activities to do with places to see & people to meet.read more
See All Reviews Write a review