Prophetic Words – Bill’s Update #6
I told my staff back in February when customers were asking about Summer travel plans in view of COVID-19, “If we’re still in a lockdown this Summer, the world has a serious problem”. Everyone likes it when their words became reality, but man I wish I were wrong when I said those words!
I am sure many of you, especially in the Americas, are on a roller coaster ride. In the US you have gone from a stay-home order in March to opening-up in May to having a spike in cases again. In South America, the situation is getting worse day-by-day.
Although we don’t have to deal with Coronavirus on Yap, the uncertainty the future will is scary. The FSM government is doing its best to support the businesses affected and without that support life would have been much more difficult for us. On the other hand, as explained in my previous blog, there is no sign from State and National governments that they are working to develop an exit strategy which would set the guidelines to allow us to open eventually. A reality we just must deal with.
The good news is that the first unemployment benefit checks for our employees have been issued and hopefully the rest will follow soon. With this support, funded by the US, our staff will not have to worry about paying bills or putting food on the table – at least for now.
Another development that brightens the present situation, is a marine biology program we’re hosting for students at Yap’s Catholic High School. During the coming weeks, 30 students will learn about the unique underwater biodiversity of their island. Many of them will leave Yap at the end of this Summer to study abroad and hopefully the program will give them the enthusiasm to become true ambassadors for Yap’s unique marine life.
Students of Yap Catholic High School bring life back in the resort by attending marine biology program
I promised to give you the list of 10 reasons “Not to come to Yap”, but instead of giving them to you all at once, I will give one with each blog post during this Coronavirus crisis.
“Reason #1 Not to come to come to Yap”
If you like crowded dive sites don’t come to Yap. … with barely 1,000 divers a year visiting Yap, all dive sites are exclusively for you and your dive buddies.
“Reason #2 Not to come to come to Yap”
If you are looking for long boat rides to get to the dive sites, don’t come to Yap. Most of our dive sites are within a 20-minute boat ride, while our mandarin fish, night & bonfire dives are not even 5 minutes from the dock.
“Reason #3 Not to come to come to Yap”
If you don’t like to discover and encounter a wide range of marine life during your dives, don’t come to Yap. We have a permanent manta ray population, abundant reef sharks, great walls, mating mandarin fish, macro life and pristine hard corals.
Although famous for our permanent manta residents, Yap has so much more to offer
Earlier, I asked you to cast your vote in the various award competitions organized by magazines. It is a way for us to stay on the radar of divers around the world knowing that other destinations are reopening, and we are not. Please click on this link to vote for the Dive Travel Awards organized by UK’s Dive Magazine.
We have canceled this year’s MantaFest event, but while we are redesigning both of our websites, you can visit www.mantafest.com for information on the 2021 event.
So looking forward to see you all again at the 2021 MantaFest
Follow us on the various social media platforms and ask your dive buddies to do the same.