Mantas, Eagle Rays and Donald Croc under the umbrella of the ocean’s surface

There was some rain last week, …but there is nothing wrong about that, unless your plan is to play tennis or golf. Fortunately we are diving here in Yap Island and the umbrella of the ocean’s surface  protects us from the cool showers.

croc005.smWhile waiting for the Manta Rays to arrive at the cleaning station in Goofnuw Channel, I spotted my first Crocodile fish. Actually if I would have been the first diver to ever see a crocodile fish, I would have named it differently.  The first thing that came to mind when I saw this amazing animal, was a duck. When I moved around him, he remained motionless, only the eyes followed my movements. This gave him some personality, …kind of a special character. My next thought came with a big laugh and I almost spit out my regulator.  “Donald” I thought, …Donald (Duck) Croc , …Hi Donald, it is nice meeting you …”.

manta_pass002_2smBut before my fantasy could drag me deeper into Peter’s Wonderland, … a big female manta ray showed up on the horizon and glided into the cleaning station.  Opening her gill slits to let the cleaning crew in, …she was hovering above the coral heads, but today  only  express cleaning was scheduled as she left after a couple of minutes.  So did we, …moving to the second station.  I swam a bit in front of our group, when a second manta appeared, …swimming towards us.  I had no time to signal to the other divers and just laid down on the bottom and stopped breathing. The big ray didn’t show any signs of hesitation and continued its travels.  This has happened to me so often in my three weeks in Yap but I always get a rush of euphoria. Yes, I got in the mood.

eagle004_2smSome minutes later the silhouette of another ray appeared above us. This time it was an eagle ray. Like a kite he was hovering motionless in the current.  Then turning and sailing a bit downstream,  …turning again and sailing upstream . With every circle he came a little closer, …closer and closer until his wing almost touched my camera.

Yes, these are the magical moments in diving, …. when you are just feeling like staying submerged forever. But as this is not possible we only can comfort ourselves by  looking forward to the next dive, …the next exciting encounter here in Yap island.  I hope to see you soon (again)!

Beer Dillution Protection DeviceAnd those, who unfortunately had to stay in the Hotel, ….they also enjoyed life, … despite the rain. Of course they needed the umbrellas to protect their beers from being diluted.


Cheers and happy bubbles,


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