Bill’s Favorite Dive Site: Caverns
My favorite Yap Dive Site, by Bill Acker.
With over 17,000 dives in Yap and having found & named most of our dive sites, it’s really hard for me to single just one out. There are any number of wonderful dives here in Yap and on any given day, all can be spectacular with unbelievable wildlife happenings but if forced to pick only one, it would be Yap Caverns. The Caverns, over the years, have featured everything for schools of more than 100 Bumphead Wrasse to over 500 Rainbow Runners to Whale Sharks, Pilot Whales, Dolphins, mating Octopus, Marlin & Sailfish not to mention the Leaf Fishes, Coral Hermit Crabs and Ornate Ghost Pipefishes and almost all of this in very clear waters. Not only the unpredictability but the fact that there are two world class wall dives on each exit, makes this a stunning dive where you truly never know what to expect.
One of my favorite things to do at the Caverns, besides the swim through caves and tunnels, is to visit the Grey Reef Shark cleaning station at about 100 to 120 feet. When they are getting cleaned, the sharks are almost vertical in the water with their gills wide open and you can almost see the smile of joy on their face as the cleaner wrasses do their job. It’s also down here that you find large Stone Fish and are perched on the edge of the drop-off so any large pelagics swimming by are right there in front of you.
Then there are the anemones with their anemone fish who lay eggs seasonally and if you go there every day for a week, you can watch the eggs develop and hatch before your eyes. The anemones also host shrimp and porcelain crabs. Finally the schools on Anthias at the tops of the reef and the coral bommies guarding the caverns from the open water are an excellent photo opportunity and fun to watch as they move in and out of their hiding places in the coral.
Yes, if forced to pick only one of our more than 50 buoyed dive sites, I would choose Yap Caverns. I hope to dive with you there some day soon. Until then, safe travels and happy diving.