Scuba Diver Girls – Blogger’s Tour

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Today was the blogger tour of Yap diving with the girls. It says “Frontier Diving” on the first page of the brochure, so we did just that and hit the water with an open adventure plan, 12 tanks of Nitrox and lunch.

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Our first stop was the local cleaning station for the mantas deep inside the lagoon in M’il Channel.

Diving at Stammtisch is a shallow static dive that is incredible when there’s mantas swirling around for your whole tank – without mantas and it’s a nature waiting game in low vis.

Turns out Margo has about the same attention span that I do, so the manta diving plan was modified a bit.

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We moored up at the cleaning station site, put on our snorkels and went to do a little bit of reconnaissance. We spent about half an hour freediving the area and didn’t see any action, so we left the lagoon and rode out into the blue to dive whatever we found interesting.

IMG_1936We stopped at the fish attractant devices, were searching for bird activity and bait balls, came across some spinner dolphins and worked out way down south along the outer reef.

After a 30 minute boat ride we decided to dive at Cabbage Patch, a sloping coral wall with depths that range from 25 feet to well beyond Nitrox range.

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IMG_1940The visibility today was what I would consider extended Yap visibility.

It’s rare to dive outside the reef with less than 100 feet of vis, however this afternoon, we had double that, it was stunning.

Margo commented that it was confusing to gauge her depth the water was so clear and later on said that was the clearest water she has ever been in.

So far so good, Yap scored huge points today on its blue water reef environment, not just for the clear water, but the coral formations and sea life.

We came across schools of jacks and snappers, white tip reef sharks, the whole id card of reef life and a cuttle fish on our first dive.

We had the entire reef to ourselves today, the only boat on that side of the island with killer conditions.

On our surface interval the ladies worked on their tans while we slowly motored south and scanned the horizon for activity.

Our second stop is a site we now call Buenavista, known for wild reef topography and a lot of life.

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With even better visibility than the first dive, we came across at least 5 turtles. At one point we all were shooting our own turtle with our cameras at different depths and came across a couple more shortly after.

IMG_2122Diving these walls can be done at any depth. We went down close to MOD and could see the reef disappear into infinite blue.

Colorful overhangs with eels peeking out of holes, fish schools and swim throughs big enough for a Scuba Diver Girl and my camera rig decorated the environment.

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Tomorrow the Ackers are taking the ladies on a personal tour of the Caverns and southern most walls… aside from the very tip of the reef, this is about as good as it gets.

IMG_2151The girls made it a point to say that they’ve only seen one other place with nicer coral walls out of all the places they’ve been in the world.

Stephanie and I have been stretching our tanks out and after the dive Margo grabbed her snorkel and met us on our safety stop for some photo bombs.

The water was irresistible this afternoon.
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Our second surface interval included lunch that was pre-ordered the night before on the Mnuw. We sat around talking about everything we saw, catching some sun and being stoked on the way things turned out.

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There was a lot of positive feedback about the vibe in Yap, you really feel like you’re on vacation here.

There’s nothing registering except the diving and the diving.

After lunch and a bikini surface interval, we rounded the southern tip of the island and went to Eagle’s Nest where we’ve had some ripping dives lately.

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We rolled into less visibility, but more current and down here current means life. This dive was called an aquarium on a conveyor belt a few weeks ago.

IMG_2257Today it didn’t disappoint.

We got right into a school of rainbow runner, followed by chevron barracuda, then a lone proper barracuda, grey reef sharks, a huge napoleon wrasse, all the reef fish, a big marble sting ray in a sandbox and finally a white spotted eagle ray hovering in the current.
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We left at 9AM and returned after 4PM, it was a full day on the water. This is the kind of diving that is available all year round in Yap, today the girls and I logged some solid reef dives.

IMG_2310 As far as gear talk went today, Suunto was ringing in loud.

Somehow on our manta snorkel, my air-integrated, dive computer in freedive mode had a seizure after a few 20 foot exploration dives at the cleaning station.

It’s now after 9PM and I’m still in deco according to my watch. I dove a D6 all day today. The only downside was when we were all at over 100 feet too long, it was a Suunto alarm concert on the coral wall.

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That was the blogger dive plan. I like diving big clear water sites with current and a lot to look at. Another positive attribute about diving here is that any day the schedule can be adjusted for whatever you want, even a nap in the sun.

This week we still have some night diving to do, sharks to school up and some island / culture touring to get on… right after the girls get their Yap driver’s licenses. Check up on facebook with the Scuba Diver Girls and Manta Ray Bay Resort for other photos and updates.

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