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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Jim Reilly
Jim Reilly
11:27 21 Mar 18
We stayed at the hotel and dove with Manta Ray divers in early December 2017. The hotel is very comfortable, well run and staffed with wonderful employees. During our visit my wife came down with an illness and the consideration and support from the hotel and dive staff could not have been better.read more
Sandy Stinson
Sandy Stinson
16:03 03 Mar 18
The staff couldn't be more friendly and accommodating. Food is good, (worth upgrading to include all meals). Diving is good too.read more
Alex Divinsky
Alex Divinsky
17:24 01 Jan 18
The best place to stay in Yap. The resort is really nice and clean, the scuba diving is great, and the docked ship that houses the bar, restaurant, and movie screen is very cool. I really enjoyed my stay here.read more
ASALI
ASALI
10:44 01 Jan 18
Offers one of the best accommodation service. It also has a uniquely designed restaurant.
Yi-Hsin Lin
Yi-Hsin Lin
00:53 21 Feb 17
The whole place centers around the scuba diving operation. Probably better to find somewhere else if you're not a diver. The dive operation was generally good, but a little too laid back - schedules weren't always clear, and sometimes would change without any notice. Sometimes it was hard to tell if this was really because of changing tides/weather or because of the island pace of life. Pizza is a surprisingly good option at the restaurant.read more
William Myers
William Myers
21:01 21 Jul 18
Great hotel. Have stayed twice.
Emily Caquelin
Emily Caquelin
04:10 02 Aug 18
Manta Ray Bay Resort is a great dive resort with extremely hospitable staff.
Daniel Granzer
Daniel Granzer
11:40 23 Aug 18
We were from 11.08 to 18.08 at the Manta Ray Bay resort and had unforgettable days there 😍In total we made 12 dives with wonderful encounters. Highlights were, of course, the manta rays in the Goofnuw Channel and many white tip reef sharks in the Shark City 🦈 But also we saw eagle rays, turtles 🐢 and buffalo head parrotfish. The hotel is beautiful and the whole team does a great job there. The food on the ship Mnuw, as well as the home-brewed beer are excellent. Thank you again to the whole team of Manta Ray Bay Resort and Yap Divers 👏🏼We also did a one-day land tour to explore the many beautiful places of this unique island. The beach is like in paradise🏝, stone money and relics from the second world war very worth to see! You find there also culturally typical houses with different meaning and use! It would be nice if more visitors would come to this great island and appreciate the great work that is done there! Anyway, we really enjoyed it and would come back anytime 🙏🏻✌🏼read more
Jonathan Gapith
Jonathan Gapith
10:31 19 Sep 18
Best dive resort around, amazingly friendly staff and great food on the mnuw
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