Scuba Diver Girls in Yap
Back in March I threw a blind invitation at the Scuba Diver Girls to create a custom media party in Yap, and last night they finished their 24-hour travel across the Pacific Ocean. This week we’ll be promoting scuba diving’s people, places and products with Yap’s manta rays, sharks and warm water reef life as our backdrop.
For some people this will be the first time they even hear of Yap and see the kind of diving going on here all year round. These girls travel the world promoting dive destinations and scuba gear.
What attracted them to Yap was the big animal interaction, clear warm water and the ancient island culture. This week we’re going to get them as much of that as they can handle, starting with the diving.
Today was a check out dive after they unpacked a tropical dive arsenal from Mares and Suunto. Shiny new scuba rigs included Abyss regulators, hybrid pro tech BCs, Reef 2.5 wetsuits and two kinds of fins with Mares’ unique bungee straps. Scuba Diver Girl computing is done by Suunto with easy-to-use and feature rich matching white D6’s.
Today’s first dive was Valley of the Rays which finds itself praised in the list of top dive sites in the world. It’s where we interact with the mantas after the trade winds settle down on the West side of the island. It’s a shallow narrow channel with 4 cleaning stations. The mantas favor outgoing tide which generally means reduced visibility and current.
We rolled into a 1-2 knot current and 30 foot of vis and immediately came across sleeping white tips at the sand bottom, then started checking the cleaning stations for manta action. At the second cleaning station we got our ray, first swimming right passed Stephanie on it’s way to the top of the coral head.
This is the time of year that mantas migrate, however Yap is quite possibly the only place on earth where there is no season, there’s always mantas here to dive with. Today’s first sighting was a resident easily identified with a shark bite taken out of it’s right wing in the back.
After hanging around and watching the ray circle and clean itself, we popped up to waiting boats, hot tea and post dive snacks. Only a couple of gear tweaks were necessary, a mouthpiece swap and tank strap adjustment later, we were surfing across the lagoon on our way to the other side of the island for a clear blue water photo adventure.
This is where we introduced the ladies to well over a hundred feet of vis, infinite depth below the reef wall and a large school of friendly reef sharks that are well adjusted to boats and divers. An environment like this raises already high enthusiasm.
Vertigo doesn’t disappoint and today was no exception. Grey and black tip reef sharks constantly patrol the wall and clear blue. This week I promised the girls a super charged shark experience, this was just the introduction.
We’ll be seeing sharks all week, recently the list of species contains Leopard, Nurse, big Silky and Silvertip sharks, along with the normal Grey, Black Tip and White Tip reef sharks seen on almost every dive. Yap’s big animal sanctuary keeps the shark population thriving… which makes for exciting diving.
Over an hour of Nitrox later the girls’ SD cards were filling up with each other, mantas and sharks on our Sunday shake down dive. Our boat ride home was only 25 minutes, which put us back at the ranch before happy hour even with an 11 o’clock start time.
Tomorrow we are breaking off on our own schedule with a pile of tanks, snacks and spare batteries on a dive adventure. Alex and I will be guiding and looking for clear water, bait balls, current and getting the girls onto the action with media to share.
Stay tuned on the Scuba Diver Girls facebook feed and check back here for the latest status of their Yap adventure. We’ll be checking out the rest of the island, introducing them to the native culture and getting on some night diving before they’re done.
This is a Yap Sunday and what it looks like after our guests make the journey here, sleep in, have breakfast and take a late boat out onto the reef. Tomorrow we’ll be waking up and hitting it earlier and staying out until they get what they came for. Here’s what we’ll be looking for, photos from the last couple of weeks.