We are still fortunate – Bill’s Update #10
It is heartbreaking to see countries around the world struggling to get their citizens vaccinated. Long lines, people showing up for their shots but are sent home without one, people cutting in line, traveling to locations other than their home area, months-long waiting lists… the stories are many.
Patricia and I turned in our vaccination request form on Monday, got a call on Wednesday and an appointment on Thursday. Both of us got the jab and were in and out within an hour. And we our vaccination cards with a confirmed appointments to get our 2nd shots in 28 days.
Especially with the struggles other countries have with their vaccination programs and the fact that Yap is still COVID19-free, I feel kind of guilty having received ours while many of you are still waiting. I sincerely hope that you and the rest of the world can receive vaccinations sooner rather than later. I wish you good luck in this regard.
Let us hope the FSM and Yap State Public Health Departments keep the present pace, as a recent press release from the Office of the President of the FSM started with the following. “Please note new information that the FSM has formally announced meeting a vaccination rate of 70% prior to engaging in any future repatriation activities or the opening of the Nation’s borders”. This seems to indicate that finally, an objective benchmark has been established that determines when we will be allowed to welcome our divers again. I personally still think it won’t be before September 1st of this year, but you never know. Fingers crossed!
While working on the content for our new website – stay tuned – I realized that there are a lot of stories behind the names of our dive sites. Most of them are named by me, some by staff and others by our divers. I will try to remember the most memorable stories to share with you.
Today the story behind “Kurrekurredutt Dropoff”. It is located on the west side of the island, in an area that has not been extensively explored. Kurrekurredutt dropoff is a popular dive for guests doing 3 daily dives during the tradewind season, which runs from from mid-November through mid-June. The site has healthy hard corals, a variety of crinoids and varied marine life.
My good friend Patrik Nilsson and his friend Sverre Schriwer dove at that spot back in the mid-90s. When they discovered the site, it was unnamed. They chose “Kurrekurredutt Dropoff”. If the name sounds Scandinavian to you, well, that’s because the gentlemen are Swedish. Kurrekurredutt has origins in the famous children’s book “Pippi i Söderhavet” (Pippi Longstocking). In one of her adventures, Pippi travels to an island in the Pacific where her father lives. The name of the island is Kurrekurredutt-ön (Kurrekurredutt Island). This is a fictional, nonsense name that Swedish author Astrid Lindgren came up with for the story. Patrik and Sverre named “Kurrekurredutt Dropoff” because Yap was their mythical “Kurrekurredutt”.
One of Andy Schumacher’s turtle shots from Yap
As you might have noticed, on the 1st of January we announced the winners of the “Nominate Your Healthcare Hero”. Man, that a tough assignment to select the 20 lucky winners of a free week stay/diving at Manta Ray Bay Resort & Yap Divers! Going through the stories, I realized that all of the nominees are real heroes and heroines, so we decided to also offer the “non-winners” a chance to get a free week with us. For the full press release please visit: https://beta.mantaray.com/honor-your-health-care-heroes/.
After a bit of a delay, we have selected the winners of the photo contest competition. The four winners are.
- Steve Kopp with his amazing shot at Vertigo;
- Salvatore Calabrese’s “Light Thru” at Yap Caverns;
- Patricia Hillebrand’s image of a traditional raft;
- Klaus Foehles’ capture of a school of barracuda’s;
Time for another reason “Not to come to Yap”.
“Reason #7 Not to come to Yap” – If you want to carry your own dive gear to the boat and back, if you don’t want a warm face cloth after your dive and if you don’t want a delicious sandwich with salad served on the boat between your 2nd and 3rd dive, don’t come to Yap. We believe in true VIP-dive service and want to make diving with Yap Divers as easy and comfortable as possible for you.
The only thing you have to do is get yourself in the boat – We’ll do the rest
As a reminder, here are the first 6 Reasons not to come to Yap:
“Reason #1 Not to come to Yap”
If you like crowded dive sites don’t come to Yap. … with barely 1,000 divers a year visiting Yap, all dive sites are exclusively for you and your dive buddies.
“Reason #2 Not to come to Yap”
If you are looking for long boat rides to get to the dive sites, don’t come to Yap. Most of our dive sites are within a 20-minute boat ride, while our mandarin fish, night & bonfire dives are not even 5 minutes from the dock.
“Reason #3 Not to come to Yap”
If you don’t like to discover and encounter a wide range of marine life during your dives, don’t come to Yap. We have a permanent manta ray population, abundant reef sharks, great walls, mating mandarin fish, macro life and pristine hard corals.
“Reason #4 Not to come to Yap”
If you don’t like that your room, the dive shop, the dive boat dock, the bar/restaurant, and all other facilities are within a maximum of 2 minutes “walk”, don’t come to Yap. We are built by and for divers. Personalized service and convenience is our goal.
“Reason #5 Not to come to Yap”
If you want to limit the type of dives you like to do, don’t come to Yap.
When diving in Yap, you can experience an amazing cavern dive at Yap Caverns, life-changing experience of Manta diving at the cleaning stations, adventurous drift dives in Mi’l Channel, adrenaline spike Shark diving at Vertigo, Bonfire diving just a few minutes boat ride from our dock, breathtaking Mandarin fish diving at Rainbow Reef, impressive wall diving at Spanish Walls, Blackwater diving in the world’s 2nd deepest oceanic trench, colorful coral diving at Magic Kingdom and amazing macro diving at Slow N Easy just to mention a few.
“Reason #6 Not to come to Yap”
If you want to be on an island full of nightlife, casino’s, disco’s, and high traffic tourism areas, don’t come to Yap. We have fewer than 1,000 divers visiting the island every year and in many ways the culture, way-of-living and structures are still in place like they have been for decades.
We have the Mnuw that not only is the only place on island where our home-brewed Stone Money beer is served but, like our beer that has won some prestigious awards, the restaurant itself also has been voted as one of the 5 most quality restaurants in the Indian Ocean/Pacific region by readers of Scuba Diving Magazine.
No, we normally don’t continue till the wee-hours, since our guests like to explore as much of Yap’s beauty on-land and underwater as possible, but I guarantee you that relaxing and socializing on our 120+ year old Indonesian schooner is an experience by itself.