Yap Divers Staff
PADI Open Water Instructor #34545. TDI Enriched Air Instructor #1919. SSI Platinum Pro 5000 Member.
Bill founded Yap Divers in July 1986 and has pioneered the dive industry in Yap ever since. Most of the dive sites of Yap were personally discovered and named by Bill and he is always looking for new and better diving for his guests. With over 12,000 logged dives, most of them here in Yap, you can be sure that you are diving with an experienced professional when you dive with Bill. He regularly dives with the guests and continues to enjoy discovering new sites and new critters.
Bill is proud of what he has built at Yap Divers. It is the best equipped, most experienced dive shop around and has an impeccable safety record.
Personal Promise: The Ocean is a very precious part of this world and we are very fortunate to have the technology to discover and enjoy the underwater wonders. My goal is to insure that every person diving with Yap Divers has a safe and unique dive experience with memories to last a lifetime. Do we succeed with every person - no? But my personal promise to you is that we will continue improving and trying until we do succeed with every guest, every day, every dive.
PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer #907988, NRC NITROX Instructor #74
Jan was born in Butare, Rwanda on the 18th of May 1968. After spending almost 20 years in Africa, he decided to become a Scuba Instructor in order to spend most of his time in the wonderful oceans of the world.
"With over 9,000 dives in Belgium, Tenerife, Spain, Egypt, Pemba and the Maldives, I am delighted to be in Yap. The position of Dive Operations Manager is a wonderful challenge and I am anxious to share my passion for the underwater world with our guests and staff. I am looking forward to helping our guests discover the beauty of Yap – above and below the surface."
A native French speaker, Jan also is fluent in English, German and Dutch with a good knowledge of Swahili thrown-in for good measure.
Personal Quote. "Once Yap, always Yap!"
PADI Rescue Diver, dive guide.
Born at Yap Hospital at 5:35 AM on the 22nd of November 1987 and educated at the Yap SDA School where she graduated as Valedictorian and went on to study Accounting and Entrepreneurial Studies at Texas Christian University in Ft. Worth, Texas. She met and married Eric Sullivan and presented her family with the first grandchild - blond haired, blue eyed Thaddaeus Acker Sullivan on January 1, 2009. Val has been diving with her mom & dad since the age of 7 and knows the waters of Yap as well as anyone. As a member of the Acker family she takes great pride in showing her island, its culture and underwater beauty to guests and understands how important each guest is. She embodies the Yap Diver's slogan of "Safety and Excitement – Every Person, Every Day, Every Dive."
Favorite Dives: My favorite dive is Yap Caverns because of the swim-throughs and caverns and the immense diversity of sharks, nudibranchs, reef fish, a rainbow of different colored antheas, a combination of shallow dive and wall dive with crystal clear water most of the time. Then there is the ever present suspense of just what you will see coming out of the blue - to date a whale shark, a marlin and recently a school of pilot whales.
Personal Quote. "Safety and Excitement – Every Person, Every Day, Every Dive."
PADI Rescue Diver. Boat driver and dive guide.
Born on Satawal in Yap State on the 17th of July, 1963. Graduated from Pohnpei Agricultural & Trade School (PATS) and learned to dive at Yap Divers in February of 1991 and has worked with us ever since. Our most experienced dive guide, Alex also speaks fluent Japanese as well as fluent English. He has upwards of 8,000 dives and has explored several of Yap's most famous dive sites. Alex's popularity is legendary as evidenced by the numerous cards and letters received from past guests.
Favorite Dives: Paaw Reef because of the beautiful hard coral formations and the abundance of fish. There are almost always sting rays, nurse sharks, turtles and the occasional dolphin and Yap Corner because when you first jump in the clear, deep blue water is visually overwhelming and the drift into the channel offers a school of baby sharks, large gray reef sharks, eagle rays, schools of barracuda and big eyed jacks.
PADI Rescue Diver. Boat driver and dive guide.
Born on Lamotrek Atoll in the State of Yap on the 31st of January, 1962. Graduated from Outer Island High School. Learned to dive with Yap Divers in August of 1993 as a dive shop summer hire. Has worked with Yap Divers since then and has logged more than 7,500 dives in and around Yap. Few, if any, people know Yap better than John. Not only an excellent diver but also very personable and a leader among the staff. Regularly mentioned as one of our top dive guides.
Favorite Dive. Any Manta Dive. I enjoy identifying the individual rays and watching their behavior. I also enjoy taking guests to see these magnificent creatures.
PADI Rescue Diver, Boat captain and dive guide.
Born in Yap on the 7th of September 1965. Graduated from Yap High School in 1985 and began working with Bill Acker while they were both at WAAB Transportation. John held a number of positions at WAAB and came to Yap Divers in August of 1990. John learned to dive with Yap Divers and is considered by everyone on the island to be the finest boat driver in Yap. We are very proud to have him working with us. Chomed has more than 6,000 dives in the waters of Yap and when not diving can be found spear fishing for his family daily.
Favorite Dive: Big Bend because some parts of dive site consists of walls while other parts are slopes. The entire dive features large cuts in the reef which are fascinating underwater formations. We see stingrays, turtles, lionfish and lots of small stuff plus when you get tired of looking at the reef, you can always turn towards the blue where in crystal clear water, we regularly see Gray Reef Sharks, Oceanic Silvertips and even the occasional Scalloped Hammerhead not to mention the very large Dogtooth Tuna who inhabit this stretch of Yap’s shoreline.
Boat Captain and Dive Guide.
Born on Satawal Island on the 1st of May, 1965. Graduated from Outer Island High School on Ulithi Atoll in May 1984. Attended Palau Community College and studied business. Nico learned to dive with Yap Divers in 1996 and currently has over 7,000 dives around the island of Yap. Nico makes up 1/2 of the "A Team", along with Bill Acker, for his uncanny ability to find the manta rays on every dive.
Favorite Dive: Yap Caverns because on every dive you can see everything from extra small to extra large. From leaf fish to whale sharks (yes I really have seen one there). The crystal clear water on the walls, the shark cleaning station, the occasional pod of dolphins just add flavor to the macro life found in the sandy parts of the Caverns.
Born on Satawal Island in Yap State on the 1st of November 1952. Graduated from Outer Island High School and Pacific Maritime Academy in Honolulu, Hawaii. Began working on the M/V Micro Spirit in 1979 rising to the position of 1st Engineer.
Henry joined Yap Divers in 1994 and has been with us ever since.
Quote: I like the challenge of handling our boats and being in the right place at the right time to assist our guests. Meeting different people and working for an organization that believes in maintaining boats and gear is rewarding.
Captain of Popou.
Born on Woleai Atoll in Yap State on the 14th of February, 1957. Graduated from Outer Island High School and began his working career as seaman on the M/V Micro Spirit (the ship that goes between Yap and the Outer Islands) in the early 70's. William worked his way up to the position of 2nd officer before he resigned and took a job as Captain of the M/V Fasiral. Small Willy came to Yap Divers in January of '98 and has been with us since then.
Stronger than an ox but gentle as a lamb, William is a favorite of our guests and is always ready to offer a helping hand with any need.
Quote: Being the captain of a boat like Popou is a challenge that I enjoy. With brand new engines, equipment and instrumentation, it is a big responsibility to take care of her and I enjoy that responsibility.
Dive Guide and Boat Captain.
Born in Yap on the 25th of November 1970 and graduated from Yap High School in 1988. Began working in the hospitality industry immediately after school. His first job was as a jack of all trades for the Alphonso Family, owners of the ESA Hotel. In June of 1997 Gordon moved to Beyond the Reef dive shop and was a dive guide for them until he had to leave work in early 2006 to take care of his parents. Tragically, Gordon’s mom passed away but his father has made vast improvements allowing Gordon to resume doing what he does best – scuba diving. Gordon came to Yap Divers on Halloween of 2006 and has quickly become one of our most dependable guides. He has over 3,000 dives in and around the reefs of Yap.
Favorite Dive: The Manta dives because those dives offer a combination of everything. Obviously, the guests are here for the mantas and to help our guests get up close and personal with these magnificent animals is a big thrill for me. I also like all of the other marine life in the channels with the rays.