|OK, I look like a cow and you can barely see the Manta,|
but it's me and I saw it! Andy went to get Jake so
pictures were at a minimum today...but Jake was on a high!
One of the dive resorts here (Manta Ray Hotel) has given us the local rate for diving and agreed to let Jake sit on the boat so Andy and I can both dive. Today, they picked us up at our boat (that's service!) and then we rode through the mangroves at break-neck speed to our dive site. There is a manta cleaning station in the channel and after a short swim, we were perched on the side of a reef ready for the show. It took a while for them to show up, but once they did, it was incredible. Due to the weather recently, the visibility wasn't so great, but these things fly right over your head so close you could touch them....visibility didn't matter! The mantas that live here range anywhere from 9 feet to 13 feet in size (wingspan). If you've never seen one, it's almost like a ballet in the water. They are simply amazing. We saw one from our dinghy in the Tuamotos, but I've never been in the water and up close to one like today.
|So, apparently, I wasn't the subject of today's photography (only an afterthought)|
as you only see one shark behind me. There were at least a dozen,
but I just got in the way of the flash....
I could go on and on, but I won't...I'll just check that one off my list of cool things to do in life!
In addition to the diving, there are other interesting things around here to see. The main one being the stone money. Yapese have used stone money for centuries and according to the tourist brochure, it's found nowhere else in the world. Here's what it says...
|This is probably very disrespectful, but the hole seemed the|
perfect size for Jake's head...made for a cute picture, I think :)
Hundreds of voyages followed the initial trip to Palau. Many men attempted the hazardous passage and more than a few perished in the process. The 360 mile canoe journey took about five days one way if the weather was good and required skillful sailing. The larger pieces of stone money that are now a familiar fixture in most Yapese villages was an arduous task to make and return to Yap, increasing its value greatly."
Kind of interesting, huh? Anyway, it's still around and used in some villages today. It's not exchanged anymore, but sits in "banks" (the side of the roads in the villages) called Rai. We snapped a few pictures as we drove along.
There were also a few Japanese zeros left over from WWII....and a Continental flight gone bad....
|It took a while, but we finally found it... a japanese zero.|
Jake was ecstatic. He loves this stuff.
|U.S. Hellcat...apparently, it was hit by enemy fire, then|
collided with another US aircraft in the bay.
There's a memorial set up for the young pilot.
|Continental gone bad....|
My family is either laughing hysterically right now, or they're crying... It may sound like I'm making fun of my child and well, I guess I am. At his age, I was twirling the baton (pretty well, might I add), cheerleading, running track and tap dancing. My brother was playing baseball, basketball and football. We were coordinated kids. I can't help but laugh when I watch Jake as he is not very coordinated at all...he'll get it, I know. He's already improved immensely and me not really being a sports freak myself, I really have no concern (or even care if he ever improves). But I know others do and I thought I would give an update. Good news is Andy says he was a late bloomer and he is a very coordinated adult....there's hope. But not too much hope for team sports...aside from Jake growing up on a boat (which limits your options), his dad is a solo kind of dude...Tae Kwon Do (blackbelt though...see he is coordinated), sky diving, kayaking, scuba diving...you get the picture.
Now we're getting ready to go have some cocktails on a new cruising boat that pulled in yesterday...it will be nice to have some folks to hang out with after going such a long stretch without other cruisers. We still have a few weeks here as we're waiting on our bottom paint and then we're going to attempt to pull Savannah out and give her a fresh look. Cross your fingers.