Yap Summer '05

 

On June 18, 2005, we returned to one of our favorite vacation spots; Manta Ray Bay Hotel & Yap Divers on the island of Yap. Our last visit was in April, 2001. A few things have changed since then. Most notably, a large ship has been moored in front of the hotel and is used as the galley and restaurant. The food was not as good as the last time when it was prepared by the four star chef Bill Munn (now cooking in Palau). We upgraded our room this time to the coveted Room 301 which has a private hot tub on the roof. Rain or shine, it was quite the slice of heaven!

The diving was still as fantastic as we had remembered. As the name of the hotel implies, people come here to see Manta Rays (and we were no exception). The mantas were not as abunduntly visible at this time of year as they are in April, but we still managed to see 8 of them. They are magnificent creatures and we are very fortunate to have been able to see them in their natural habitat. The reefs held many beautiful corals and fish, along with a few turtles. We made a separate dive near the mangrove forests to spot the exquisite Mandarin Fish.

We took a tour of the island and got to see some of the Yapese culture this time. We saw some traditional community houses and tried the native's vice; Betelnut. It is a nut that the natives (men and women alike) bite open, sprinkle with coral lime powder, wrap in a pepper leaf, and then chew it. The chemical combination between the nut and the coral lime powder produces a brief "high" (lasting about 10 minutes) and turns your saliva into a bright red "juice." It was an interesting experience, to say the least! We were lucky enough to attend the opening ceremonies of the annual Micronesian Tribal Leadership Conference being held on Yap this year. Some of the representatives wore traditional tribal wear and were welcomed by a group of women from a local tribe. It was definitely a "National Geographic" moment!

Slideshow Yap '05

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On June 18, 2005, we returned to one of our favorite vacation spots; Manta Ray Bay Hotel & Yap Divers on the island of Yap.