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Dive Review of Yap Divers/Manta Ray Bay Hotel in

April, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by David Dornbusch, CA, USA
Sr. Reviewer   (10 reports, with 1 Helpful vote)
Report Number 4784
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Galapagos, Red Sea, Fiji, Sipidan, Great Barrier Reef, Cozumel, Roatan,
Belize, Turks & Caicos, Tahiti, British Virgins, Puerto Rico, Bahamas
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
Water Temp
84   to 85    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
No special restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
5 stars  
Large Pelagics
  5 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  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
3 stars   
5 stars    
Wonderful 4 days of diving.  We went for the manta rays and weren't
disappointed.  Saw two manta rays with wing spans of 8' and 14' that
cruised near us for most of our first dive, then two and one more on two
subsequent dives.  On our first sighting, both mantas cruised within a few
feet.  On our second sighting, two drifted within a foot of our heads then
slid to the side to check us out, again from only a couple of feet away. 
From the reports of other divers, we could have seen mantas on almost every
dive, but we spent our other two days at sites where mantas weren't
expected.  The corals near the manta cleaning stations aren't plentiful or
particularly healthy, but walls and reefs to the south had abundant and
spectacular corals and fish.  A school of pilot whales tracked our dive
boat, and dozens showed off, "standing" on their heads with their
tales in the air.  We saw aligator fish, mantis shrimp, octopi, white tips,
lion fish, puffers of many sizes, spawning tital triggers who we sometimes
had trouble avoiding, and large schools of reef fish.

The spectacular conclusion was an evening dive about 5 minutes from the
dock, to watch mating mandarin fish.  We settled near two coral labyrinths,
with many mandarins, mine having about a dozen.  Just after sunset, the
males started chasing the females, and coaxed a few into spawning only a
couple of feet from our eyes.  A few swam right up to our lights and our
masks, so close I had to draw back to focus on them.  I splayed my fingers
upright trying to copy the coral formation, and one male settled into my
hand.  Brought our own lights, but make sure you can rent them if you
don't.  The mandarin fish dive is not to be missed.  But, the night dive
wasn't anything special.

We always had a boat exclusively for our group of 5, and our dive master
was terrific, not only letting us dive as we liked, but pointing out the
difficult-to-see, like a number of motionless octopi.  Excellent equipment,
very well maintained.  Most dive sites are within 20 minutes of the dock.

The Manta Ray Bay Hotel/Yap Divers is a great combined operation, with an
especially fine setup for diving, extremely capable and eager-to-please
staff.  Large lockers and hangers (inside and out), large rinse tanks -
everything a diver might want, and all within a few steps of the dock,
restaurant, pool and rooms.  Excellent all-you-want breakfasts (eggs to
order), and fine lunches and dinners.  Efficient airport pick-up and
drop-off.  No beach or resort reef, but never missed either.

For dinners, we thought the food was about the same at the Manta Ray and
Traders Ridge.  Both very good.

Almost no bugs, not by the water, not inland, not even at sundown.
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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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