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Dive Review of Yap Divers/Manta Ray Bay Hotel in
Micronesia/Yap

Yap Divers/Manta Ray Bay Hotel, Feb, 2006,

by Chrisanda Button/Rickie Sterne, Arkansas, USA . Report 2283.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Bahama, Bay Islands, Belize, Cozumel, Turks & Caicos, Sea of Cortez, Australia, Fiji, Truk Lagoon
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather windy, rainy, cloudy Seas choppy
Water Temp 82 to 0 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 20 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Divemasters led the dives. Maicxmum depths were stated but not strictly enforced. The dives lasted until we ran out of bottom time or someone got near 500 psi. Since we were with a group of experienced divers, all our dives lasted at least an hour.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 3 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 N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments Like everyone else at Manta Ray Bay, save one jolly group of Aussies who were staying the week, we were in transit to Palau. We quite liked the hotel. Our standard oceanview room was large and comfortable. Our carved wooden door sported a hawksbill turtle, repeated on our bed covers and shower curtain. The room had two double beds, a writing desk, a comfortable chair and table, and plenty of storage space. Our small balcony, with its own small table and chairs, overlooked the lagoon. The shower was huge. The ceiling fan was backed up by air conditioning. A carafe of coffee was delivered to our room each morning just minutes after our wakeup call. There was a sort of Joseph Conrad ambience to the place. The staff were most obliging. The restaurant is an old wooden boat docked in front of the hotel. I was glad that we were not assigned to one of the oceanview rooms that is really boatview. The breakfast buffet was $10. Lunch sandwiches were $8.50 with soups and veggie specials (quite tasty) for less. The hotel bakes its own bread, delectably. We enjoyed our meals. Yap Divers is onsite, and they were aiming to please. Nitrox is free. We were each assigned a locker in the shop. There are outside hanging racks, too, if you can nab a space. Water in the three rinse tanks outside was changed daily. For the first two days of our stay, our group ws assigned to their large boat and taken to the walls. The dives were all slow drifts led loosely by a divemaster. While maximum depths were stated in the dive briefings, they were not stricly enforced. If the divemaster were at 60 feet and a couple of divers dropped down to 75 for a while, nothing was said. We were asked to signal the DM when we got to 1000 pai so we could go shallower for the remainder of the dive. We were with a group of experienced divers(with 400 dives, we were the least experienced), and all our dives lasted over an hour. The first site we visited, Yap Caverns, was far and away the prettiest. The hard coral cover on the sloping wall was in good condition, and a good variety of fishes and invertebrates was present. We saw a pair of emperor shrimp, several nudibranchs, and colorful clams. The DM pointed out a leaf scorpionfish. A couple of common lionfish and a clown triggerfish showed up, too. On the othr sites we visited, the damage inflicted on the coral by the typhoon two years ago was evident. Magic Kingdom was an interesting study in the regrowth of hard corals (yes, the coral is coming back). We saw small schools of jacks, barracudas, and sweetlips. A number of sharks swam by, as well as three turtles. At Cabbage Patch a large black ray lying on the sand to be cleaned indifferently allowed every photographer in the group to take several shots. I would like to have seen these sloping walls with their hard corals three years ago. On our third day of diving we boarded two small boats and headed up to the M'il Channel to see the mantas. Who failed to show up after we made a sprint against the current at 80 feet in water so murky I was afraid to loose sight of the DM. The DM labored mightily to entertain us, pointing out a sleeping shark, a crocodile fish (pretty cool, actually), several nudibranchs, and whatever tropicals the small coral head offered. Same story on our second dive: no manta. The Aussies, who headed out to M'il Channel earlier in the mornning, did see mantas. The rides to the sites were long, but the boats were covered and reasonably comfortable. We were given towels between dives and served hot tea, water, and fresh-baked sweet breads. While we found the wall diving in Yap pleasant, I would, overall, rate it as pretty good Caribbean diving.
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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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