Steven Miller from Ikelite photo school, who is a MantaFest presenter at this year’s photo event, puts Yap in print with his gallery of sharks, rays, caverns… and even the moon.
The latest addition to the photography scene is Yap is our “Sunset Split Shark Shoot” that we do at Vertigo as a day ending boat trip.
Sharks are the most predictable wildlife in Yap, although the diving is manta-based, our sharks just don’t seem to take a day off or have any season, it’s always on at Vertigo.
So predictable in fact that we reliably produce excellent split images from the boat at sunset – both weeks of MantaFest will have special shark split workshops and the opportunity to get out and bring home new creative images.
Some more images from Steven Miller in Yap:
Diving Yap Caverns is a special experience, with your choice of two walls or the swim through amphitheater you can always get it your way.
Some of the most common sites are sleeping white tips on the sand bottom, schools of bumpheads over the coral, cleaning grouper and leaf fish.
This site rarely disappoints a camera, usually leaving us photographers with something to come back for.
At 30 meters there is a coral head that reef sharks clean on provided there is enough current.
Baby grey reefs are seen strafing the amphitheater slope during times of the year which always make for a memorable encounter.
Yap Caverns is flanked by two wall dives where we drift by the most soft corals, crynoids and reef fish.
A whale shark has been seen here, dolphin and pilot whales, although infrequent, the magic at Yap Caverns is as good as it gets for diving Micronesia.
Pinnacles covered in pink antheas jet out from the walls with morays and cleaning Sweetlips in the cracks and beneath overhangs.
This is where your camera comes to be happy regardless of your lens – macro, mid or wide angle, it doesn’t matter.
When it comes to diving Micronesia and getting the best of Yap, a school of bumpheads, cleaning sharks, big grouper and forking white tips almost always make a top 10 dive log entry.
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This is citizen science.
Manta Mania 2017 produced 2 new manta ray IDs in the Yap Manta Project database.
This budding male put on a magical moment for one diver and her camera.
One of the most beautiful diving environments in Yap is the Caverns amphitheater in calm clear water, add a cleaning manta ray in the sun to the picture and it’s nothing short of magic.
“Gabe” is a 21 year-old member of the Yap family who is battling cancer and had the opportunity to dive with these rays before starting his second treatment.
Watch the video!
Manta Mania 2017 is our fastest growing event and made for a full house this year.
People and scientists from all over the world shared a few common interests – diving with manta rays, conservation and good times.
This is the week where we go manta diving everyday, learn about marine ecology, human impact, conservation efforts and are side-by-side with some of today’s leading people in their scientific communities.
In Yap we always say “It’s more than mantas!” and our science symposium included special talks about turtle, fish and shark research from the scientists on those front lines.
Everyday there was special event dive plans that put us in the water with Yap’s wildlife.
During the week we saw mantas clean in the lagoon, dive groups were seeing mantas surface feeding from the boat, there’s mantas passing divers along the southern walls in the blue and one was ID’d at the caverns.
Our new pride and joy media from the week was a new baby male named “Gabe” that was ID’d cleaning just outside the Yap Caverns amphitheater – a magical moment experienced by just one diver and her camera.
Workshops were inside views of the research and the people behind it showing what it takes to protect sharks, turtles and manta rays in today’s world, it is tougher than it sounds.
Evening media presentations were part entertainment, part science, mostly conservation but all illustrated human impact on marine life.
From plastics, pollution and practices that negatively effect the marine environment, human impact was presented by people in the know and some who have years of data showing it.
We saw charts, graphs and images with some information that will encourage us to play a more positive role in our global ecosystem.
Lots of Diving
Dive days were buzzing with everything else Yap – sharks, schools of bumpheads, snapper, barracuda, turtles, cuttlefish, and of course, manta rays. Vertigo was the site of a morning shark dive with 5 mantas feeding in the blue – wildlife interactions were all over the outer reef and southern walls.
The package includes all of our specialties – shark feed, mandarinfish and night dives. Another upgrade was a “Rumung”, the forbidden island, tour during a surface interval lunch in the village at a traditional Yapese men’s house.
During the week we gathered the following data:
- 24 manta encounters this week
- 11 were males
- 6 were female
- 7 could not be sexed
- “Dotty” is pregnant
- 1 new manta ID
- We saw the smallest manta ray ever seen in Yap
- Increased manta encounters outside the reef
- Resident manta “Victor” had a fishing line injury above his left eye
The Yap Manta Project is driven by photo ID’s. Your photos of Yap manta ray belly shots with time stamps is citizen science, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Manta Mania 2018 is going to end right around the Yap Day celebration. It will be our 4th event and you can extend for the island’s biggest cultural festival – the absolute best of Yap, manta ray mating season and the opportunity to see everything Yapese in and out of the water.
Do you know how easy it is to get to Yap?
Bill is committed to telling the world how easy it is to get to Yap if you email him, he knows how to get you here the fastest, the cheapest and the smoothest from anywhere in the world, try it for yourself, email email@example.com for personal itineraries that you can buy or book anywhere.
It’s a big shout out from the Traveler Community that put Manta Ray Bay Resort in the Top 25 Hotels in the South Pacific. Receiving this award is a great honor and making this even more special, Manta Ray Bay Resort is the first and only dive operation to achieve this.
A big shout out to Bill Acker and his staff for delivering the quality of service that ranks among the finest hospitality businesses in the region. We are extremely happy to put this in the spotlight.
Find us in the Top 25 Hotels of the South Pacific on Trip Advisor.
June 18th to July 1st
Coming up this summer is Yap’s newest event, Sea-Life Adventures, designed for families with interactive activities for travelers of all-ages from 2 to 17 and adults, both divers and non-divers – this event truly is for everybody.
There will be interactive educational sessions with field trips to sites where participants will be learning about island and marine ecology through hands-on activities and laboratory sessions.
We will be snorkeling the mangroves, performing plankton tows and sampling for microscope and lab sessions back at the resort. This is a unique event where we will be learning with research scientists about the local ecology and marine environment
Learn more at: www.mantaray.com/sea-life-adventures
Special Event Includes:
- 7 night / 10 dives and all meals included
- Visit to a Traditional Yapese Village
- Night snorkel, plankton tow, fishing trip
- Local navigation workshop and canoe trip
- Beach BBQ with fire circle
- Watershed hike, local buffet dinner
- Pizza and burgers movie nights
- Babysitting and activities for all-ages
- Airport transfers, taxes and wake-up service