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Dive Review of Manta Ray Bay in

May, 2012, an Instant Reader Report by Jeff Bloomer, IL, US
Contributor   (14 reports)
Report Number 6592
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Through out the Caribbean, Eastern US, Maui
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
Water Temp
85   to 87    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
100   to 150    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
No restrictions.  Dive Master was very flexible and allowed divers to dive
within their own limits.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
5 stars  
Large Pelagics
  4 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
5 stars  
No camera bucket on the boat as it was small but I had brought a
collapsible cooler and each morning the guides would fill it with fresh
water for me so I was more than fine with that setup as I didn't have to
worry about other cameras or someone using the camera bucket to rinse a
mask as everyone knew my DSLR was in my personal cooler.  I would really
recommend this little trick for anyone serious about their equipment.  The
camera area at the dive shop was great for cleaning up the photo gear and I
really loved the large countertop in my room which provided tons of room
for working on the camera setup and charging batteries.  Also, the crew was
great about how to handle my camera.  I showed the DM Gordon once where to
pickup the rig (a lanyard I attach to my Ultra-light arms) and he made sure
that the Captain knew in case either one handed me the beast.  Really top
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
4 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
5 stars   
5 stars    
Ok, anyone who has read any of my other reports knows I can be brutal if it
is warranted.  Well now you are going to see the gracious side of me since
there isn't anything to complain about.  

Great staff at the resort, restaurant, dive shop, everywhere just super
friendly.  Bill and his team have really set a high bar in such an off the
beaten path area.  The diving was just super with the Captain and DM
totally flexible and helpful in finding great diving spots.  It didn't
matter where we wanted to go or what we asked for no trip was off the
table.  I once wanted to do a Mandarin fish dive and was the only person
who wanted to go out, no problem off we went just me and the DM and the
Captain.  They let me spend all the time I wanted taking tons of pictures
of these amazing looking fish.  Conditions could not have been better, just
flat calm.  Tons of marine life.  After one Manta dive (we did 2 and had
great success on both) we stopped over a reef to snorkel.  While looking
over the side we could see a turtle swim by.  The DM got our attention in
time to see 3 juvenile sharks chasing each other in a circle off the other
side of the boat.  While snorkeling a woman from our group yelled
"manta!" and as I looked down a large manta was swimming
underneath us. Just another typical day in Yap.  Practically every trip we
were chased by dolphins or pilot whales or whatever, man this is some sort
of place.  On one dive we must have seen 40 sharks in a school, bump head
parrots everywhere, sting rays, crocodile fish, nudibranchs, you name it. 
If anyone needs to see pictures let me know and I can send you a link to
some of mine. 

Breakfast is buffet style with plenty of good coffee, juice, fresh fruit,
eggs to order, etc.  We were usually done diving in time for a late lunch
and a cold beer from their own micro brewery from on top on the Minu, a
restored Indonesian wooden ship permanently moored on site.  The only thing
I would have asked for was a more varied menu as lunch and dinner choices
were the same but we celebrated an anniversary  and the staff came up with
a special meal just for us and on just a few hours notice so not too
shabby.  The resort is well maintained and there seemed to be constant work
being done painting and making repairs or whatever and it showed.  There
are a couple of restaurants across the street from the resort and they are
a nice alternative as well.  You would have to look pretty hard to find a
better run or friendlier resort than Manta Ray Bay Resort.  

We did a cultural tour that the resort set up and it was great.  We visited
a traditional village and met the people who told of us their history and
demonstrated how they use to live (in some cases still do for the most
part).  Well worth it.

This is our first time to Micronesia but we are already planning our next
trip.  We broke this trip up by going to Tokyo for a few days on the way
over.  I'd suggest maybe Hawaii for a couple of days going over and coming
back which would cut the travel time in half from the Midwest (7 hour
flight to Guam from Hawaii and 1 hour to Yap).  I've always wanted to dive
an area like this and now that I have I realize it is very affordable and
worth skipping a trip to the Caribbean if that is what you have to do. 
Give Manta Ray Bay a try and you wont be disappointed.
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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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