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Dive Review of Manta Ray Bay in
Micronesia/YAP

Manta Ray Bay, Dec, 2009,

by Tom Brumback, IA, USA ( 1 report). Report 5304.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Belize, Roatan, Australia, Caymans, Turks & Caicos, Bonaire, BVI, Cozumel, Costa Rica
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 82 to 86 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 30 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions None
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 4 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 5 stars
UW Photo Comments Had nice lockers and benches for all photographic equipment. Area was safe and secure. I left cameras, batteries, stobes and all equipment on the camera tables all week with no worries about damage of theft. I needed some silica gel to dry out my fogging camera case and the shop rounded up a couple for me. In shop facilities for photographers were good, but I really didn't see any PC's available for downloading etc. Boat facilities for UWP were lacking. There were no on-board rinse tanks and cameras were simply placed on the floor on the back of the boat.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments We spent a week at Manta Ray Bay diving with YAP divers after spending a week in Palau aboard the Big Blue Explorer. We found the accommodations and service to be very good. Pick up at the airport at 3:00AM went well and staff took care of all our gear. Diving consited of Manta ray hunting in Miil Channel and outer reefs. Diving in the channel had poor viz which ranged from an abysmal 30 ft to a respectable 50 ft. We saw mantas on every dive we made there and they were up close and personal----you couldn't see them if they were far away. A good wide-angle lens and some close encounters made for some good photo ops. When we didn't dive the channel, we made stops at Yap Caverns, Vertigo, Lionfish wall, yellow wall etc. These were excellent dives...much better than expected as we came to YAP to primarily see Mantas. We did 2 dives at Vertigo including an awesome shark feed. The divemaster took down a box of fish heads and placed it on the reef. Between 50-75 sharks appeared and created a frenzy when the box was opened about 30 minutes into the dive. Actually, shark viewing and photo ops were far better than we experienced at Blue Corner in Palau. Macro life was respectable with sightings of several Nudibranch species, ghost pipefish, crocodile fish, etc. Overall, I would rate the experience as good to excellent. Bill Acker's Manta Ray Bay Hotel is perfect for diving and located right on the water with a spectacular infinity pool. Staff were very helpful and friendly. They always made the best of tides, surf and weather conditions to give us the best dives. Dive operations were efficient, timely, and accommodating. The only shortcomings were the Mnuw restaurant and the dive boats. We ate several meals in the converted cargo ship which served as a restaurant. Ambience was great and the ship often became the hotspot for meetings and conversations after diving. However, we found the food rather ordinary and a bit pricey for what you received. We often ate across the street at Oasis. We sampled most of the local restaurants including Trader's Ridge, Ganir, etc. Oasis was the best value. The other shortcoming was the dive boats. Most of the boats were converted fishing boats that we not ideally suited to diving. YAP divers would do well to invest in some true dive boats with setups more conducive to diving. Having tanks and equipment simply laying on the floor of the boat along with cameras is mediocur at best. Other then these 2 improvements, Manta Ray Bay/YAP divers is a top notch operation.
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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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