Yap Island (Day 3 - snorkel and land tours)
Colonia Travel Blog› entry 9 of 10 › view all entries
I couldn't tell if the day would be clear or stormy, but turns out to be a nice day afterall. I take a half-day snorkel tour (I'm the only tourist on my double-guided tour) and have a great time seeing Yap's diverse coral sea life, including turtles, eagle rays, and my first two octopi. I'm really impressed watching one of my guides free dive to depths of 20 meters without as much as a snorkel. He's barely a speck on the ocean floor and must be holding his breath for upwards of 4 minutes. Amazing. Down there, he grabs a slow-moving sea turtle and brings him to the surface for me to look at. I dont' think he's supposed to be doing that and turtle doesn't look too pleased, but it's all forgotten when he lets the turtle scurry away like a cannon shot.
That afternoon, I continued the second half of my island tour, taking with me GPS coordinates of some sites my brother visited during some of his previous visits. We stop at some very picturesque meeting houses, and I walk down centuries-old stone pathways, which I'm told still criss-cross the island. There is stone "money" all over the place, especially outside the local's houses. My guide is nervous driving me do some of my GPS sites. He tells me that nearly all the villages are very clanish and require permission to be visited by anyone not living in them, even in the case of a guide escorting a tourist. So the guide keeps pulling over and asking locals who to ask for permission to see this-and-that. It starts to get old. Eventually, though, I take enough pictures through our open van window to satisfy me (he's afraid even to stop the car in places for fear of a 'scolding').