Yap Status Update
Anyone know what day it is? Things are firing over here, it’s a full house, full dock, full boats and a full reef… with Mantas that is. Stewart donated his photos from yesterday where he and his wife were in a Yap Manta ball at the Stomfitch cleaning station.
A key to the encounter consistency is the 100+ identified individual Manta Rays that call Yap home – as well as the government backed preservation program started by Bill.
There is no predicting these animals, they come and go with no trace of a pattern. High tide, low tide, mild current, strong current, clear water or murky, part of their magic is their mysterious nature.
This is off-season Yap Manta Diving, it gets better when they swim the channels in long mating trains and dance over the reef in courtship.
The cleaning station is where they come and hover a foot or two over the corral in slow flyby patterns creating outstanding photo opportunities.
Stewart and Christine are from England and have circled the globe on underwater adventures for the last couple of decades and as of yesterday added Yap Mantas to their photography collection. Not a bad way to start their dive week.
Big animals and more big animals
A nice site selection by their guide Nico, brought them to Vertigo for their second tank. After rolling in, a look down the wall showed the white sand bottom some 241 feet down. An epic day to experience Yap Sharks in full curious form.
There are aquarium days being lived here this week. There is no bait box or chum being used, this is natural Yap Shark behavior on the Philippine Sea reef.
Some of the most fun sites for being out in huge blue water with a gentle current are found on Yap’s east coast.
Here divers get to hang over the reef’s edge and swim with sharks as big as themselves just out of arm’s reach away.
Bill Acker hospitality
A full resort raises the energy levels and Bill responds with a little custom addition. After all the divers return from a couple of tanks and a short boat ride, the clock strikes pool-thirty and everyone gets some solid vacation time in.
Manta Ray employees suited up in traditional attire and performed a bamboo dance on the lawn. This is one of Yap’s most charming attributes, it’s a place where ancient culture and the modern day world meet.
Traditional dance, WiFi and micro-brew in an infinity pool. I don’t know where else this happens, but here, it’s just another Tuesday.
Guests woke up to their buffet breakfast, then met their dive gear already setup on their boat, spent several hours underwater with Yap wildlife and made it back in time for early happy hour and a free poolside cultural experience.
The more I learn about this place the more the Manta Ray Bay stands out as its own unique dive vacation experience.
If it wasn’t a global Manta hotspot and home to hundreds of sharks, it would still be a destination where you get something special and dive clear tropical waters with 5 other people in your group.
Bill’s operation is demonstrating outstanding hospitality in concert with Yap’s blue water and big animal populations. Diving and vacation at your pace with a couple of things you just don’t get anywhere else. This is what Manta Ray Bay looks like as of yesterday, on deck, and on the reef.