Sunrise at Manta Ray Bay

The island of Yap, in the Federated States of Micronesia, is one of those faraway places with strange sounding names that you may have learned about in high school geography class, but promptly forgot about once the test was over. Of course this is only true if you're not a diver, because Yap is very well known to divers, having been written up in numerous magazines and books. We spent a week there to see what all the talk is about. What we found was quite different from the "conventional wisdom" that we had heard. Yes, there are manta rays here, that's what Yap is really famous for... almost guaranteed encounters with these beautiful creatures at one of two cleaning stations on the island. Depending on weather and time of year, you will see the mantas in either Goofnuw Channel or M'il Channel, which are on opposite sides of the island.

What we found was that Yap has a lot more to offer than just mantas. There are walls, beautiful hard coral reefs, and a macro site that's just minutes away from the dock at Manta Ray Bay Hotel. The hotel is run by Bill Acker, who is synonymous with diving on this island.... he pretty much discovered the manta cleaning stations, and most of the dive sites around the island. This Texan has made Yap his home, and has developed the diving there over the last couple of decades, and always with a smile on his face.