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Dive Review of Manta Diver/Manta Ray Bay in

April, 2008, an Instant Reader Report by Paul S. Jacobsen, CA, USA
Reviewer   (3 reports)
Report Number 4416
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
80   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 150    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
4 stars  
Great work area on shore to set up system and charge batteries. Dedicated
rinse tanks, that are tiled and lighted.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars    
4 stars   
4 stars    
Manta Ray Bay (MRB) for a week prior to a live aboard on Palau.  Having the
week on Yap first made the pace good and I was able to get on the time zone
with little pain in preparation for Palau. 

MRB is a superbly run operation and I was impressed that the owner, Bill,
is still investing further to improve it. Such as he purchased more land
away from the resorts to move off site the laundry, storage and be able to
haul his boats out at night.  The buildings and rooms are in top notch
condition and newly remodeled. My room was a Standard room, but I was very
impressed with its excellent quality, comfort and condition.  It had the
best bed of any hotel I've ever stayed in (even four star hotels).  I
probably didn't need the single supplement that week as the resort was
light, but I was glad I had the whole room to myself to spread out. 
Depending on the week the resort could be full so a single might have to
share a room.

The dive set up of the resort is excellent and convenient, with a well
organized dive operation, dive gear storage, and rinse tanks, just steps
away from the boats and rooms. There are separate camera tables and
charging work areas. Separate gear and camera rinse tanks, (but no camera
rinse on the boats). Your dive gear ends up on the boat each morning set up
for you. Theyll unload at the end of the day and you just pull your gear
out of the rinse tank and hang it to dry. Yan the dive manager is very
personable and will typically try to adjust to your schedule or interests. 
Arriving at the resort when I did put me on a different schedule than other
groups already there. So instead of sticking me on different boats with a
new group, Yan had me stay with the same captain and dive guide which meant
I had a boat to myself several times.  Even on the last day for a land tour
I couldn't go in the morning when they normally ran the tours, so MRB
arranged my own driver for a personal tour in the afternoon to fit my

The resorts dining set up is nice with a 100 year old Chinese sailing boat,
the Mnu, moored at the resort which is the restaurant and the top deck is
the open air bar. This is a great place for sunsets and an evening drink in
the steady nightly breeze. All meals area available on the Mnu, with
typical American breakfast items to Dinner.  The selection for food was
somewhat limited and I thought a little too high at the resort, but I found
a local spot just a 2 minute walk that was less expensive for lunch. I'm
glad I had the breakfast package, but a full meal package would have been a
waste. Being on an island the selections declined as the week went on as
the supplies where getting short since the monthly supply ship was going to
arrive the next week.  But that's part of the island experience. 

MRB in a sense is a victim of their own successful marketing of their Manta
Ray dives. Most divers mistakenly think there is only Manta Ray dives and
week might be to long.  However the reef diving in many instances was
excellent and much better than I had expected. A week is not too long, with
some Europeans spending several weeks at MRB. I did see Mantas on two
dives; however they are not as consistent this time of year versus other
times.  One group had gone 5 days without seeing a Manta.  The typical
Manta drill is hanging out near a cleaning station and wait in the sand for
the Mantas, great if they show up, boring if they dont.  When they do show
up you are close to you and they stay a long time being cleaned.  Its an
awesome experience.

MRB has fast twin outboard boats with the commute times are typically 20 to
40 minutes depending on how far away the sites are and the tide level.  The
typical schedule is a 2 tank morning dive, back for lunch then a single
tank afternoon dive. The afternoon dives are usually on the inside of the
reef, near the resort and mostly rubble looking for lion fish or other
small critters. Not that great of a dive considering the extra charge
(depending on your package).  If you have a group of experienced divers and
the afternoon winds a calmer talk to Yan to see if you can get him to go to
the outside reef, but be prepared for a bumpy ride. 

The reefs on Yap are healthy and very colorful, with a good assortment
tropical species, as well as a good selection sharks.  (MRB offers a Shark
feeding dive which I have heard good comments about.)  While most of Yap
reefs are really nice the reefs on the south end I think are the best. One
site, Magic Kingdom, have coral formations that were the most spectacular
and beautiful of any dive of Yap and Palau combined. 

A must see at MRB is the Mandarin fish night dive. The location is near the
resort and always has Mandarin Fish, which is a great opportunity for
photographers.  Its an extra charge, but worth it. I didnt see mating my
dive but saw plenty of Mandarin fish in the coral.  Since the dive is only
20 ft, you can stay as long as you want.
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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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