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Dive Review of Traders' Ridge Resort in

July, 2007, an Instant Reader Report by Chip Kamin, PA, USA (2 reports)
Report Number 3302
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Mainly Caribbean including Bonaire, Aruba, Cozumel, Roatan, Utilla, St.
Lucia, Dominica, Truks & Caicos, Florida
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, rainy  
choppy, currents  
Water Temp
83   to 85    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
25   to 125    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Come up with 500 PSI  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
5 stars  
Large Pelagics
  4 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
5 stars  
No rinse for cameras or masks. Every diver given individual baskets for
gear. It worked OK for small digital cameras. 
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
1 stars   
5 stars    
We had just spent 8 days in Palau and were now heading for the second part
of our Pacific Island adventure. Our group of 8 experienced divers  (6,000
plus dives accumulated) was stoked from great diving in Palau with Sams
Tours and a great hotel with the Pan Pacific. Our expectations for Yap were
not as high as they had been for Palau, but we were in for a very pleasant

I had selected Traders Ridge Resort over the other dive operations because
the accommodations seemed like the best on the Island. Tina, at Island
Dreams Dive Travel, had helped with all the travel arrangements. 

We were met at 3:00am at the airport and driven a short distance to the
resort. Much to my surprise the Dive Master, Mike Kuiper met us as we
checked in along with Brenna the manager. Since we were getting in late we
had no desire to do an early morning dive scenario and Mike explained that
would be no problem. If we wanted to dive he would take us out in the
afternoon and then we could do the Mandarin Fish dive at dusk. He told us
just bring you dive gear to the lobby at 1:00pm and he would take it from

As an Island, Yap is very different from Palau. Yap has managed to let most
of the modern world pass it by. They practice many of Micronesias
traditional life styles. Traders Ridge motto on their web site sums up the
facility very well Where Adventure and Luxury Meet. I can honestly say in
all my travels around the world, I have never had such an attentive staff
from manager to chef to bartender. Rooms were styled in true Victorian
architecture and were spacious and cool. Refrigerators in every room and
room service available 24 hours a day. Ladies note: bring ¾ pants or
a skirt. You can walk around with nothing on top but you need to cover the
knees (only when touring the Island).

The pool area was secluded as were the beautiful gardens surrounding the
resort. They even had an ethnic art institute on the premises that
showcased various art forms practiced on the Island. We opted for the
breakfast package at $16.50 per day. The restaurant was in a separate
building with two open-air floors, one more casual then the other. We tried
a few other restaurants in town but always came back to chef Anthonys

Our first two dives were not spectacular. We did Semakai Wall (great
visibility 100 foot plus) and 1 to 2 Macro (less visibility but lots of
Lion Fish). Then we headed out for the dusk Mandarin Fish Dive. We found a
coral head minutes from the dive shop and basically hung out for 90 minutes
watching the beautiful little critters find each other and finally mate. It
was a unique dive not to be missed.

Of course we had come to Yap to see Mantas and Mantas we saw. We were told
the Mantas were on the other side of the island from the standard Mill
Channel dive area. We headed out to the Valley of the Rays the next morning
and after a quick descent to about 50 feet we attached our reef hooks
behind a big rock. I was fumbling around with my camera wondering why we
had stopped here when a big shadow fell over me. I looked up and there was
a 10-foot Manta hovering over the feeding station. Another one came in and
then another. The exit for the dive was tricky since the current was
strong. You had to drift out the channel and then catch the mooring line.
With the current dragging I did a slow and strenuous hand over hand to the
surface and then caught another rope from the mooring line to the ladder
and then with difficulty back in the boat. This was not an easy exit and
missing the ladder would mean a swift cruise out to sea. We all made it and
for our second dive went back to 1 to 2 Macro seeing a lot more stuff since
we knew the site. 

Mike Kuiper had recently been hired to run the dive operation at Traders
Ridge. He is Dutch and had worked for years in the Maldives before coming
to Yap. He seems to be doing a great job organizing the diving. For the
balance of our dives we had two locals, Fair and Matt to guide us. Fair
captained the boat and lead the dives while Matt helped out on the surface.

The dive staff was excellent, catering to every need we had. After our
second dive each day we had a choice of coffee, tea, cold water and fresh
baked banana nut bread from the kitchen. Very satisfying. 

We went back to the Manta site (seeing even more Mantas) then spent a day
on the Southern tip of the Island doing, Yap Caverns, Lionfish Wall, and
Magic Kingdom. All great dives. A trip to the South is a must do for a Yap
dive trip. More fish, better coral, and great visibility. 

Back at Traders Ridge we opted for a private Island dance which included
sampling native food, crafts and of course a very colorful dance by over 25
natives. Well worth the $50 which goes to the tribe. We also did a couple
of land tours, we had two full days built into the package but really two
half days was plenty. Stone money banks, more mens houses, another
mangrove kayak tour, World War ll relics, etc. The resort has bikes
available for free anytime and they are actually new bikes in good
condition, a first for all our many dive trips. 

All in all we were amazed by the quality of the resort, the attention given
by all the staff and the quality of the diving. Yap is difficult to get to
but in my opinion it is worth the effort.
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Diving Guide to Micronesia
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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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