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Dive Review of Yap Divers/Manta Ray Bay Hotel in

February, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Chrisanda Button/Rickie Sterne, Arkansas, USA
Report Number 2283
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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

windy, rainy, cloudy  
Water Temp
82   to 0    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
20   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
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.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  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
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
3 stars    
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
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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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