A Yap Divers Day
This is today’s status straight from the boat to your browser.
This morning was a classic Bill Acker tour of the Pacific reef. We’ve been getting outstanding conditions with great vis and a strong wildlife presence. Yesterday a group came back from Goofnuw channel and all the chatter was about Yap’s clear blue water, even modest estimations of the visibility was over a hundred and fifty feet. As a matter of fact, it was so good the boat unanimously voted to stay put and get right back in where they were, Marty commented that it was “a perfect day”.
Again today, crystal clear views underneath welcomed us as we splashed in and rolled over.
Our first stop was the mouth of Goofnuw channel which is host to three Manta cleaning stations and where a lot of the Manta viewing takes place on this side of the island. All the photographers were setup for wide angle and were hot to post up on the main cleaning station and get some up close manta action.
I drifted down the channel on my own and on my kick back to the group, I found myself within high-five range of a passing female Manta. This is what I like best about diving Yap, the open water big animal encounters.
Speaking of big encounters, here is a Yap-size bumphead parrot fish, some grow BIG here. These aren’t the most attractive fish on the reef with their massive mono-tooth and corral scarred forehead, but definitely part of the reef life that deserves a double-take when close.
Another one of today’s bigger than average wildlife scores included a crocodile fish laying in a corral recess looking straight out. I was waved over to check it out after one person was done taking pictures… then I took mine… and as the other photographers saw more than one person taking shots in the same place, they move in to check out what’s going on and wanted their’s too.
Picture yourself as the crocodile fish, and after the thirty-fifth strobe blast goes off a foot away from it’s face there was only one thing to do… there was no going forward and no going backward, so it did a 180 it’s spot and stayed put. Maybe he knew that nobody is going to win Manta Fest with a picture of a crocodile fish’s butt, it was game over. Once the photo op was blown, we moved on, score one for the fish in this case.
Here’s a little insight to Diving Yap… make sure you go with an operator that has custom dive boats. The direct tropical sun can be intense for fair skinned vacationers… Manta Ray guests all have a seat in front of their gear to enjoy their surface intervals in the shade. Comfort points that only Bill offers among the operators on the island, covered boats.
After an hour of refreshments, Texas humor, Yap Q&A and the next dive brief, it was time for another hour of clear water, gentle current and awesome vis on a sloping corral wall drift with Bill.
I’ll be posting up some more professional SD card donations to decorate this page with wide angle and macro shots from the Manta Fest photography festival, but I felt it was a good time to take you for a shotgun ride-along on the diving in between contest media leaks.