What Would You Call It?
I am about to share my day with you but I am asking any of you to send me your comments on what you would call a day that went like this.
We departed on Popou, which in my opinion is the best dive boat in Micronesia not classified as a live-aboard, at 8:30 on a beautiful sunny morning headed for the Southern tip of Yap. Had a very nice international group of 4 Americans and 7 Germans plus Small Willy, Nico and myself as driver and guides. We passed Yap Caverns to move up the Western side of the island for our first dive and then planned to come back to the Caverns for our second dive.
Boy was that a winning decision! Cruising slowly up the reef line, we noticed what at first we thought were Pilot whales, but upon getting closer we realized we were with a school of 5 Orca whales. There was at least one mother and calf pair plus the individuals. This got everyone racing for cameras and places on the port side of the boat for pictures. The whales stayed with us for several minutes and then decided enough was enough and dove for the deep.
After leaving the Orcas, we headed for Spanish Walls but when we got there we noticed that the winds were blowing sediment off the reef and turning the waters murky. Nico then told me about a new place he had dived a few days earlier and had seen 4 cuttle fish. I always like to dive places that I might not have been, so I immediately canvassed the group for their reaction to trying a new dive site and the vote was unanimous – “let’s go for it”. So off we went up North between Cabbage Patch and Spanish Walls to what I told them was “no name dive site”. Obviously not much of a briefing was possible but I explained our policy of no limits diving and told them about surfacing and how we pick up divers with Popou and overboard we went with Nico guiding the Americans and me the Germans.
We weren’t 2 minutes into the dive before Nico found the first cuttle fish. Moments later, we ran into the first to 2 turtles and right after that a big barracuda decided to see what we were up to. The barracuda was followed by a very large skipjack tuna who didn’t seem to want to leave us. About 10 minutes before we began our ascent, we found a 2nd cuttle fish. All of this taking place in the midst of an incredibly beautiful hard coral reef formation with hundreds of different kinds of healthy coral.
My plan was to ask the guests for suggestions on naming the new dive site but since I was the last out of the water, by the time I moved to the bow of the boat someone was saying that “if you don’t call this Buena Vista then I will do it myself”. This“ultimatum” came from Jeannette McWilliams who was visiting us from Florida with her daughter Cheryl Lynn. It took a moment to translate Buena Vista for the others on the boat and the unanimous approval was readily given. Thus Beautiful View became our newest dive site.
As we slowly motored South for Yap Caverns, there was lots of positive chatter about Yap’s newest dive site. I want to thank Jeannette for the wonderfully appropriate name and thank the rest of the divers with us for so readily agreeing to go exploring. Next time you visit Yap why not ask Jan to schedule you for 3 tanks and lunch on Popou and visit Buena Vista? You won’t be sorry.
The Caverns, with its clear water and abundance of both macro life and big animals was almost an afterthought but you can NEVER call Yap Caverns an afterthought and sure enough we had large grey reef sharks being cleaned, 2 HUGE dog tooth tuna swimming by, a pair of robust ghost pipe fish, a juvenile dragon wrasse, a school of bumphead wrasse and of course the drift along Lionfish Wall was as spectacular as always. What a day? What do you think?