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Yap Dive Trips

Of all the Micronesian islands, Yap is most intriguing. The island culture is intact, with the people doing things the same way their forefathers did. The stone money is a good example. Yap is the only place in the world where huge, carved stones became a traditional form of money.

Stone money may date back 1,800 years, when ancient Yapese navigators sailed their outrigger canoes across hundreds of miles of open ocean, exploring neighboring islands. On Palau, they discovered caves containing a sparkling light brown material known as crystalline calcite. Using hand tools made of shells and sticks. they quarried and sculpted stone disks ranging from 2 to 12 feet in diameter. Each piece has its own legend and its value is directly related to the degree of difficulty in obtaining it. Stone money banks lie deep in the jungle, where villagers store their wealth in neat rows, propped up in impressive displays.

A trip to the outlying districts is like stepping back in time. There are men's meeting houses built of huge logs and palm thatch. The biggest treat for a visitor is a traditional Yapese stick dance where islanders perform this ancient art in their finest dress.

Manta Rays

Manta Rays Yap is the unchallenged leader of Manta Ray diving. Divers visiting this remote paradise see mantas on more dives and more mantas per dive than anywhere else in the world. Most of the Manta encounters occur in depths of 25 to 50 feet, usually inside channels that lead from the lagoon to the open sea. The mantas often line up single file in groups of four to six, taking their turns being cleaned. The mantas appear unafraid of divers. They will sweep past the divers, execute a tight U-turn and come back toward the divers - hovering just a few feet above the corals. These gentle giants have wingspans of 10 to 20 feet and are estimated to weigh 1,000 pounds or more. Such a close encounter with these magnificent creatures is one of the most exhilarating experiences a diver can have.

Yap Dive Sites

Yap offers a wide range of superb diving experiences. There are literally hundreds of places around Yap where the diving ranges from superb to absolutely outstanding.

Gilmaan Wall
Micronesia Dive Trips This is a vertical wall dive at the very southern tip of Yap where the reef line juts out two miles from shore. The site is surrounded on three sides by open ocean and is usually a drift dive. The wall begins at a depth of 20 feet and plummets straight down to 160 feet. Underwater visibility ranges from 150 to 200 feet. The face of the wall is covered with hard corals, gorgonian fans, Daisy Corals and bright yellow crinoids. The wall is honeycombed with small caves and crevices occupied by exotic reef fish of all kinds. Because of its exposure to the open sea, Gilmaan Wall is the site of encounters with Dogtooth Tuna, turtles and Eagle Rays. Dive guides have reported seeing Sailfish, Manta Rays, sharks and Whitetail Stingrays.

Lionfish Wall
This is another exciting wall site. Beginning at a depth of 18 feet, this vertical wall plummets straight down to 160 feet. Drifting this wall feels a little bit like sky diving because of the 200 foot visibility. The most outstanding attraction at this site is the large community of Lionfish that lives in small caves and crevices on the face of the wall. There are literally dozens of these spectacular creatures - each of them adorned with lacy fins and slender spines.

Yap Caverns
A unique combination wall dive and coral grotto swim-through, this site is marked by a sandy coral shelf that cuts into the reef, forming a natural amphitheater. The shelf is at a depth of 30 feet and surrounded by vertical coral that rises up to within 10 feet of the surface. Running off the north side is a series of caverns, caves and passageways that tunnel beneath the reef.