We have had two good days of manta action so far—I guess it must have to do with the name “Manta Fest!” Our first day featured 2 dives at Goofnuw Channel, and both proved to be successful. We had encounters with three different mantas on the first dive and one long encounter with a small male manta on the second. The evening was capped off with drinks in the restaurant and a slideshow by Eric Cheng on the big screen. The slide show was entitled “Big Animals” and featured some of Eric’s best photos of large marine animals from around the world: sharks, rays, whales, dolphins, sea lions, pigs, and more. The show created a good buzz amongst the crowd with many folks asking him for his autograph! (well, maybe just Mike..)
Friday started off on a good note with a great manta encounter at Goofnuw channel for the first dive; everyone had at least 2 or 3 head-on encounters with a very inquisitive female. The second dive at Miil Channel had great visibility but unfortunately, lacked manta action. Eric spent much of the dive blowing bubble rings (which Mike filmed from above). In the afternoon, Mike gave an informative talk about shooting mantas (still photography) and answered questions on the best camera set up and other technical jargon. He also shared a few manta stories from his three years on the island.
In the evening, Mike showed a 30 minute video presentation entitled “The Best of Yap”, a collection of his favourite footage from 2.5 years of filming at sites all around the island.
Our dive guides for the week, Gordon and Chomed, are a great combination on the boat. Chomed smiles quietly and goes about his driving while Gordon keeps up a non stop diatribe punctuated with frequent loud laughter. They have both proven to be efficient manta spotters so far.
- [Manta Fest 2008 Closing Words]
- [Manta Fest 2008 Day 7 Update]
- [Manta Fest 2008 Day 5 Update]
- [Manta Fest 2008 Day 3 Update]
- [Manta Fest 2008 Day 1 Update]