Okay, we all know that Greece put the Euro into trouble, but who would have thought that our stone money makes it to the Azores in the mid-Atlantic. If you take a closer look you see that this disc is only a poor copy of our handicraft originals… At least it is located in front of a house – the way it should be – in Madalena, Pico Island.
Okay, wir wissen ja alle, dass Griechenland den Euro in die Krise gestürzt hat, aber wer hätte gedacht, dass ausgerechnet unser Steingeld den Weg in den Mittelatlantik zu den Azoren findet. Beim genaueren Hinsehen enttarnt sich das gute Stück aber nur als schlechte Kopie unser handgertigten Originale… Immerhin steht es im Vorgarten eines Hauses – so wie es sich gehört – in Madalena auf der Insel Pico.
Today saw the first day’s training in the kitchen on board the Mnuw, our 100 year old floating restaurant moored by the Manta Ray Bay Resort. The reason for the training you might ask? Well, we are in the process of totally overhauling our menu and putting into place something that is exciting, fresh, tantalizing and unique for the island of Yap. Not only will we be offering the best diving in Yap, but also the best dining.
In the kitchen today Bill held two training sessions for all the staff on how to make the perfect fish taco. I was there to sample one…well ok two or three and they tasted damn good. I’m sure it was down to all the years of his legendary Texas BBQs! The aim of changing the menu is to get good tasty food to our guests fast and to satisfy hungers that diving the great sites of Yap can only give you.
The sort of dishes you can expect to see on the new menu are, gourmet sandwiches, wide range of tacos, fish dishes, including catch of the day, our great appetizers (which we are keeping). We will be offering good sized burgers, all made from 100% Angus beef, with a tasty selection of toppings. We will of course have our pizza menu. We have increased our selection of desserts too, so there will be something to please those with a sweet tooth!
Keep checking our blog for notification of the final menu and launch date. So now there is another reason to come visit us here in Micronesia.
Here I am, at the Manta Ray Bay Resort on the island of Yap in the Pacific region known as Micronesia. After a long journey from French Polynesia, my video equipment and I have arrived safely. I had just enough time to set up my diving and video equipment, when Yap Divers announced a Shark Dive. Yessss, I thought …that is the right way to start my new job as a photo/video pro at Manta Visions. I was very excited to meet up with the local shark population for the first time and was wondering how many sharks we will see and how close I can get to them. You know, …I have done more than a thousand shark dives before and honestly I thought it will be hard to impress me.
So how was it, you ask?
As a warm-up Bill Acker, owner/operator of the resort, brought down a basket of fish carcasses and placed it in a crevice in the coral at a depth of 10 meters (30+ feet). The sharks, mostly grey reef sharks with a few blacktip reef sharks in the midst, smelled the bait but couldn’t get it. They stayed really cool and the divers, …among them several photographers, had time to find a good place for taking their desired pictures. The less experienced divers got time to get used to the presence of the sharks. I started to love them from the first minute. It was really easy to get close and they almost posed for us. My camera was rolling and rolling, …didn’t dare switch it off so I would not miss a scene. It was just beautiful, the light was perfect and the water extremely clear.
After 10 minutes or so Bill, with the help of a couple of the Yap Diver’s dive guides, brought down a large ball of frozen chum attached to a line and float so that the “chumcicle” stayed in mid-water. This time the sharks got a bit more excited as they could actually get to the food source. Still, the entire feed was very controlled and the sharks were just interested in the chum and ignored the divers. Ok, ok, …some sharks were a little more interested in cameras and strobes but isn’t that what we were looking for? “Come a little closer baby …..c’mon gimme a smile …” and they did!
To get the feeling you have to be here of course, …even the best pictures cannot make up for the real thing. So I hope to see you in Yap soon so I can introduce you to my new friends.
We were fortunate to have our good friend, Mr. Ken Kurtis from Hollywood, California back in Yap recently. This was Ken’s 6th visit and he brought several of his best customers with him. Here is an excerpt from his latest newsletter:
We had a great week (ten days actually with all the travel time) diving in Yap. Warm water, great weather (the only rain we saw – except for the final day there when we weren’t diving – was always between midnight and 6AM), wonderful animal encounters, fantastic friends at Manta Ray Bay Hotel (still my favorite diving resort in the whole world), and a good time was had by all.
Here’s an easy way of thinking about how special Yap is by looking at these four images from our dives on Thursday:
Dive 1 – Valley of the Rays @ 10:11AM:
Dive 2 – Vertigo shark feed @ 11:46AM:
Dive 3 – Gilman Wall @ 2:18PM
Dive 4 – O’Keefe Island @ 7:50PM
This is a collection of animals that most divers would be happy to see over the course of an entire week. We saw them in a space of less than nine hours on a single day. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: You’ve got to go to Yap.
I’ll be working on the trip report and the pictures (and maybe a video too) and will send those to you separately, hopefully towards the end of the week. In the meantime, here are a dozen more images from our wonderful week in Yap: This Week (in pictures) at Reef Seekers.
© 2010 Reef Seekers Dive Co. All Rights Reserved.
The crew of Yap Divers spent this morning with several of our guests, including Ken Kurtis of Reef Seekers Dive Company in Hollywood, California, our webmaster Dustin Macdonald, the Captain of the Spanish owned sailing yacht – Never Say Never, currently moored off from the Manta Ray Bay Resort and several local residents of Yap. What were we doing you might well ask?
We were all watching the finals of the World Cup Football, soccer to us Yanks, between Spain and the Netherlands. We projected the game on to the big screen on the S/V Mnuw and sat around drinking fresh brewed coffee while the match was played out. The sun came up just as regulation time was ending so we moved downstairs into the Nautical Weaver lounge and showed the overtime period. I am not sure there is a better setting in the world for watching live sports than the Crow’s Nest as a full moon is rising or in our case, the sun was coming up.
Our group was evenly split between rooting for Spain and/or Holland. As a result of Spain’s 1 to 0 overtime win, Fredy, our Swiss brew meister is telling everyone that Switzerland is co-champion as a result of their opening game defeat of the Spanish.
Needless to say, it was a good morning and after breakfast, 4 dive boats departed for various locations around the island. The seas are very calm, the water is clear and the boat that I was on saw over 20 sharks including white tip, black tip, grey reef and a rare sighting of a zebra shark.
ab dem 1. Juli wird Profi-Filmer Peter Schneider die Leitung von Manta Visions, dem
Video- und Foto-Center des Manta Ray Bay Resorts, übernehmen.
Ambitionierten Filmern und Fotografen ist sein Name sicherlich ein Begriff: Nachdem
der gebürtige Berliner zwölf Jahre lang für das Deutsche Fernsehen gearbeitet hatte,
ging er für neun Jahre nach Rangiroa/Französisch-Polynesien und produzierte
spektakuläre Über- und Unterwassersequenzen, die von National Geogaphic TV,
Dicovery Channel und diversen anderen renommierten Sendern weltweit mit offenen
Armen angenommen wurden.
Einige Highlights seiner bisherigen Karriere bilden die Zusammenarbeit mit Christian
Petron (Haus-Filmer für den Kultregisseur Luc Besson, u.A. „Die Tiefe“, „Atlantis“), der
prämierte Film „Sharks of Rangiroa, from Legend to Reality“ – ein Manifest gegen die
Hai-Fischerei in der Südsee, das tatsächlich ein gesetzliches Fangverbot nach sich zog
– oder etwa eine Sequenz, die nicht nur die Mating-Tänze von Mantarochen, sondern
erstmals in freier Wildbahn auch die Paarung der „fliegenden Teppiche“ eingefangen
Gemessen an seiner Liebe zu Mantas und Haien – soviel lässt sich wohl schon vorab
sagen – hat sich Peter Schneider mit Yap sicher für die richtige Destination
Der Tauchlehrer und Video-Instructor wird im Rahmen seines neuen Engagements
nicht nur unseren fotografierenden und filmenden Gästen mit Rat und Tat beiseite
stehen und für alle anderen auf Wunsch Erinnerungsvideos produzieren.
Bill Acker, Jan Sledsens und Team freuen sich jetzt schon auf spannende
Unterwasserfilme, die spätestens ab unserem Foto- und Filmwettbewerb Manta Fest
(4.-14. September, mantafest.com) allabendlich über die Großleinwand unseres
Restaurantschiffs Mnuw flimmern werden.