Scuba diving in Yap is all about one thing – manta rays. Yet, glorious though these creatures are, there is much more. Yap consists of four islands and these tightly-knit land masses are dissected by channels that lead over a broad lagoon to the surrounding reefs.
Each of the channels are rather shallow, lined by mangrove swamps with thick areas of seagrass. The water can be murky but head seawards and it’s all change. The visibility clears where the surf breaks against the submerged reef edges and the marine landscape lurches into coral clad hills and valleys. Many pelagics are attracted to this environment but it's the manta ray populations that are world famous. There are cleaning stations in two of the channel mouths so manta sightings are more-or-less a daily event.
Sharks also descend on Yap at certain times and the islands are becoming known for a selection of small, reef building animals including colonies of tiny mandarinfish.