Behind the Scenes, Manta Mania
Yap is one of those rare and interesting places in our world with something unique to experience. This week it’s hanging out with professional conservationists who present their research and share their information to grow awareness and create scientific communities out of divers, local people and business – and party in the name of saving mantas.
This year’s cast of characters made for a quite memorable event for all of us.
One of the biggest reasons guests come back to Yap is because of the family atmosphere and personal experience diving and hanging out.
Once you’ve been here, you’re in.
This event is family-grown and family-operated.
With Julie Hartup comes her husband Jason, who shoots manta photo ID’s, her son Chase shoots and produces promo video, daughter Jennifer who models underwater and her youngest daughter Riley who does whatever she wants, after all she’s 9, and runs the whole show.
You know how that is.
Another reason people come back to Yap is that the good times are authentic.
You also know that whole “new Divemaster” thing that happens to all new Divemasters that, technically, never happened?
You know, the one at the bar with a snorkel and a funnel.
Well, that, didn’t happen. Twice.
Science is now a reason people come back to Yap with the world’s first manta ray citizen science symposium.
This event has grown in the right direction by people who want to be involved in conservation, dive and have a great time.
That did happen. All week.
A great time indeed. We come from all over the world on our own agenda and meet in the middle to learn about marine mammals and make some dives to save some rays at a private party that anyone can come to.
Some people will come back to Yap for an anniversary – this year we had a special request by two guests, a private beach wedding.
We were throwing a party at the beach anyway, now we had another reason to let it rip.
For sure another reason to come back to Yap is the coconut cocktail.
These drinks are the next best thing to Nitrox on your Yap holiday – fresh young coconut with a double shot of two kinds of rum.
Everyone got one at our beach party.
We had it all, an acoustic band, ladies passing out coconuts in grass skirts, a bride and groom… and, we had a State official with proper documents.
These guests got married and identified a new manta ray for the Yap database — tropical holiday party, er, ‘science’, in action.
Here’s to a week in Yap these two will certainly never forget and as far as the rest of us goes, it’ll be a while before this one fades.
Get involved, Manta Mania 2017
Come join the party, help conserve our ocean’s resources and participate in unique eco-tourism projects for big animals.