Dive #81 - Rich Torkington's Dive Log
Copyright 2010 Rich Torkington Mesa, Arizona

PREVIOUS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 HOME INDEX Next

Bottom Time to Date:

69h
39m


Dive Info:

Dive Start:
9:30AM

Bottom Time:
69 minutes

Maximum Depth:
56 feet

Safety Stop:
3 minutes

Beginning Air:
3100 psi

Ending Air:
500 psi

Weather Conditions:
90F

Surface Conditions:
Calm

Surface Water Temperature:
82F

Bottom Water Temperature:
82F

Visibility:
20-30 feet
81
TITLE
* *
July 15,
2001
VALLEY OF THE RAYS - GOOFNUW CHANNEL
YAP - FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA
BOAT DIVE
VIDEO
John (divemaster), Barney and Liz (UK), Jennifer (NY), Robert (Guam), Heinz (Switzerland), and Linda (buddies)
Photo
Masked bannerfish taking a wrasse-bath in Goofnuw Channel
Videograph by Rich Torkington in Yap 2001 
Dive Journal: Leaving Kosrae on the 14th, we are entertained at how closely our carry-on luggage is searched much more thoroughly than any airport weve ever been. The flight takes us to many stops, including Pohnpei, Chuuk, Guam, and Palau before finally arriving around 10PM on Yap.

The dive boat takes off about 8:30AM the next morning, and so we sleep fast. There are a handful of other divers onboard so we slowly begin to introduce ourselves to one other. We head out through the channel at Colonia and enjoy the sights of the shallow fringing reef and numerous evidences of shipwrecks in the area.

The boat motors around to the north and finally moors at a buoy in a murky channel. John explains that we are looking for manta rays on this dive, and he explains how the mantas prefer little diver movement, steady light exhaust bubbles, and absolutely no touching or chasing. We get the impression that some diver has recently broken these rules.

The tide is going out, which pulls some runoff from the island and makes the visibility quite poor. However, this is a very typical condition in the manta ray channels on Yap. The channel is relatively barren white sand with coral and rock formations rising on either side. Soon after our decent, we take up a prone positon on the floor and simply lie there, craning our necks and straining our eyes for some indication of a manta in the murk. Seeing none for many minutes, the dive starts to get a little bit boring, especially because I am thinking that Id rather be using the bottom time to take some macro video in the adjacent reef.

Early in the dive, I do spot two white tip sharks near the bottom just off the edge of the channel. I am tempted to fin over with my camera to get some video of them, but I am also a bit apprehensive about how they might react. After we change position, Im in a better spot to examine some of the other fish life. We never see any sign of the mantas, but I do see a nice mimic filefish, a pretty nudibranch, a six-banded angelfish, and a yellowmask angelfish. At one coral head, a gorgeous masked bannerfish is being cleaned by wrasses, and he seems to pose especially for my video camera.

All in all, it is a ho-hum dive because of the low visibility and the long periods of waiting with little to see. Still, Ive added a few new fishes to my list. We later learn that there are several divers staying at the Manta Ray Bay Hotel with us that have been seeking a glimpse of a manta for a week without success, and so our experience is not unusual at all.

SUMMARY OF SOME FISHES OBSERVED ON THIS DIVE:

This list was created by looking over the video footage and identifying each species.

  • Mimic filefish
  • Latticed sandperch
  • White tip reef shark
  • Floral wrasse
  • Lyretail grouper
  • Mimic surgeonfish
  • Six banded angelfish
  • Speckled butterflyfish
  • Multi-barred goatfish
  • Checkerboard wrasse
  • Giant moray eel
  • Masked bannerfish
  • Keyhole angelfish
  • Yellowmask angelfish
  • Black-backed butterflyfish
  • Threadfin butterflyfish
More
Dive
Info:
Fins:
Mares Avanti Quattro
Computer:
U S Divers Matrix
Tank:
80 ft3 Al
BCD:
SeaQuest Spectrum 4
Dive Type:
BOAT
Body of Water:
Pacific Ocean
Mask:
U S Divers
Protection:
3mm full wetsuit
Regulator:
SeaQuest
Spectrum XR2
plus Oceanic
Slimline octopus
Weight:
12 lb
Water Type:
Salt
Video Equipment:
Sony DCR-TRV11 digital handycam in Top Dawg housing