Silvertip Search and a M’il Deco Dive

We experimented today with the shark calling bottle trick and a box of tuna heads over the infinite blue depths under the reef wall at Big Bend.

The rest of the dive group was hanging above us with cameras in hand. Our plan was to give it 15-20 minutes and turn the show into a drift dive.

The bait was suspended below an overhang at 100 feet in a slight current.

With the bait hanging, Colin got on top of the overhang and started with the bottle.

Just like the other times we tried this, we had instant grey reefs swimming out of the blue towards the noise, as well as a few curious barracuda.

We observed shy wild shark behavior – a bit different than the Vertigo show. These sharks swam out of the depth, investigated us as well as the bait, but showed zero interest in our tuna heads.

Another observation from calling in sharks from the blue is that we’re seeing baby sharks accompany the adults. We don’t see as many baby grey reefs at Vertigo.

With sharks circling below, Colin swam the bait box into the blue and began emptying the cage. While it rained tuna parts, I stayed at depth hoping to see something happen.

After watching bait fish tug at our chum, I decided to save some bottom time for the drift and called it. After all, we were still at Big Bend and this is Yap, there’s plenty of things to see on a blue water dive.

We drifted south in relaxing current and had sharks cruising the wall with us for the remainder of the dive.

When you’re cruising the reef wall at any depth, you can look out to the blue for big things, or look at the reef wall for little ones.

Our drift had sharks, barracuda, tuna, schools of snapper, corral grouper as well as all of the reef fish and critters.

We’ve been seeing big dog tooth tuna hunting the reef wall on just about every blue water dive recently.

After half an hour of drifting south over some of Yap’s most interesting reef formations, it was time to rally at the surface for a debrief, some laughs, hot tea and cake.

We didn’t get to see a Silvertip today, but the dives are fun trying. We all got to get into clear water and redline our computers for an hour while seeing big and small sea life.

We’re not done trying this, I still want to follow up on the Silvertip fish story and this plastic bottle trick. We’ll keep this up until we have sharks on the blog bigger than divers.


M’il Channel to Yap Corner

Our second tank turned into a M’il channel out to Yap corner drift dive with a deco stop over the reef. As we were cruising over the lagoon on the way home we were talking about the next dive. I always throw out a blue water option, I think I said Yap corner and other suggestions came in the form of sea life.

Raj said it best as we setup to roll into the channel, “it’s not about where we dive, it’s about what you see, we want life.”

That’s no problem when splashing into M’il, here is where the whole Yap universe comes together and the potential to see anything exists. Today was no exception, it was a constant stream of sea life as we cruised towards the blue in our small group.

Within several minutes of our drift out, I came around a huge pinacle at the channel bottom with a ball of swirling jacks in the current’s edie. I kicked into the back current and displaced the school of fish with my strobes popping.

About two minutes after the jack swarm, I found myself in a barracuda vortex. The biggest school of ‘cuda I’ve seen in M’il channel circled me as I drifted along.

Other sightings were bumphead parrot fish, reef fish, schools of black snapper, white tip reef sharks and nudibranchs in the reef when you look close.

We drifted all the way back out to the clear blue where we circled up for a safety stop. There were a couple of divers that had to hang there staring at their wrist a little longer than others.

We wrapped up the dive day drifting in the blue under my surface marker during our deco stop… all the way across the channel opening and down the reef and almost to Vertigo before we surfaced.

Everybody was pretty stoked that we tried something different, and the divers were more than satisfied with the wildlife report and visibility. Yap offers a personal dive experience in small groups, they’ll take you and show you whatever you want and get you into the water with exactly what you came for.  There’s clear blue water to be had, currents to ride, channels to drift, caverns to swim through, sharks to dive with and some Mantas in the lagoon. Today the group wanted to interact with sea life in the blue and take pictures in clear water.

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