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Dive Review of Beyond the Reef/O'Keefe's Waterfront Inn in

July, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by NEAL LANGERMAN, CA, USA
Report Number 2888
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
All over the Pacific, all coasts of US, Gulf, Carib, etc
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy, rainy  
choppy, currents  
Water Temp
81   to 83    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Hard corals are fantastic for wide and ultra-wide angle (10-15 mm).  Need
to work to get superb composition.  Use a reef hook to photograph mantas. 
See for images.  Camera was stowed on a cushion inside the
cabin of small skiff.  Safe, but not secure.  Crew handled camera properly
and well.  Needed to change ports between dives and we came back to the
dock so I could reconfigure the entire housing and camera in a dry
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
5 stars    
My wife and I have more than 65 years of diving experience between us
around the world on live-aboard and land-based operations.  Our visit to
Yap followed two weeks of diving in Palau.  Yap is a small island in the
Federated States of Micronesia.  We did two dives a day for seven days with
Beyond the Reef using a small skiff with a guide and operator.  We were the
only divers in the skiff for the entire time and got very comfortable with
our guide and operator.  One day, two snorkelers joined us, but even then
the skiff was not overly crowded.  Beyond the Reef specializes in small
group diving which caters to the particular interests of the divers.  Yap
is known for its Mantas and we were not disappointed.  July is rainy season
and not the time the large schools of Mantas gather in the cleaning
stations.  However, we were able to dive with up to seven of these large
fish and the Mantas remained near us for the better part of the hour dive. 
On other occasions we were visited by one to four Mantas.  January through
April is the best time of the year to visit Yap to see Mantas.

Yap diving is much more than Mantas.  The south and west walls provide
vistas of hard corals at least as beautiful as the soft corals of Palau. 
Spotted Eagle Rays, reef sharks, and an assortment of reef fish are
abundant.  Diving is easy.  A backroll entry puts you in a gentle current
and you drift at comfortable depths in extremely clear water.  The skiff
had an acceptable boarding ladder that simply required removing your fins
and climbing onboard.  The skiff followed our bubbles and I never felt at
risk of being left behind. The owner of Beyond the Reef, Dave Vecella,
picked us up at our hotel every morning.  He made certain that everything
was planned and executed to our satisfaction.  He was in every way a
perfect host.

We made all of our arrangements through Beyond the Reef and booked into
OKeefes Waterfront Inn on Daves recommendation.  This was a superb five
room Inn with the rooms extending over the water.  The rooms were designed
to make you feel like you were on a 19th century sailing schooner.  The
well appointed accommodations were comfortable and provided for everything
the traveling diver needed.  One very helpful feature was a drying closet
located off of the porch overlooking the bay.  Waste heat from the air
conditioning condenser was directed into this closet and wet clothing and
dive gear was very quickly dried.  This was particularly helpful as we
packed to continue our month long dive trip.
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All Micronesia Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Micronesia
Diving Reviews for All Dive Destinations

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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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