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Dive Review of Beyond The Reef/O'Keefe's Waterfront Inn in
Micronesia/Yap

Beyond The Reef/O'Keefe's Waterfront Inn, Apr, 2014,

by Brigitte Lacouture, AK, US (Contributor Contributor 14 reports with 4 Helpful votes). Report 7645.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Yap is a small island in the Federated States of Micronesia between Palau and Guam. We dove with Beyond the Reef who recently moved their office and are now located next to the ESA Bay View hotel. Beyond the Reef specializes in small group diving and caters to the particular interests of the divers. We liked the idea of not going out to sites with a herd of 10 other divers and did two dives a day for six days with them. At most sites we were the only boat. The boat also went out at dusk twice on mandarin fish photography trips, but we were not into spending an hour getting the perfect shots of mandarin fish...

The boat we dove with was a small skiff that had oxygen on board, as well as a first aid kit. We were usually the only divers onboard, on two days a snorkeler joined us, once with another diver, but the skiff was never overcrowded. Only our available air limited our dives and we dove pretty much as we pleased with our DM Keonie hanging out and occasionally pointing out creatures from the large, sharks and turtles, to the small, various nudibraches. Yap is known for its mantas and we did three dives at Manta Ridge, a shallow site with plus one-hour dives. On the first we saw three mantas, on the second, when more divers were around later in the morning, we saw none, and on the third, early in the morning again we had up to seven near us for the better part of the dive, quite spectacular. However, we found Yap diving more than mantas. The south (Yap Caverns) and the middle (Mill Channel) have many species of fish and the west walls (Fanif) providing extensive landscapes of hard corals and a small school of sharks. The diving is easy, a back roll entry into a gentle current and drifting at depths of 50 to 70 ft in water of 60 to 80 ft visibility, Manta Ridge being the exception with 20 to 40 ft visibility. The skiff had an adequate boarding ladder that required handing up your fins and climbing onboard, which my husband did, though I handed up my BC as well. The skiff followed our bubbles. On board, hot chocolate or tea was provided along with cookies, crackers, or fruit on different days and water was always available. There is a channel cut through to the other side of the island that is only navigable around high tide, so we planned each location the day before with Keonie based on the expected winds and tides, thus the trip departure times varied each day. The owner of Beyond the Reef, Jessie, met us on a couple of days on our return in the afternoon to make certain that everything was to our satisfaction and to partake in the planning for the next day’s dives.

We stayed at O'Keefe's Waterfront Inn, locally called the Waterfront Inn. The inn is next door to the Manta Ray Bay hotel. It is a fine five-room inn whose staff is always ready to help. All of the rooms are right along the water and each room’s balcony actually juts out over the water. The rooms are authentically designed like a Victorian era inn, are well appointed with Wi-fi, TV and DVD player, and a bar fridge, and have huge, comfortable beds. When you first enter, the room seems small, but once you get your dive gear to the shop and store your suitcases in the closets, the room expands! Each balcony has a storage closet with the air conditioner waste heat blowing through it. We hung our wet stuff in this closet each afternoon and it was bone dry by morning. It was just as effective on our wetsuits and BCs the night before flying out which was really useful.

The inn is within walking distance of everything in Colonia, so there was no need to rent a car on diving days. About a 5 minutes walk north of the inn is an old stone lined trail through taro patches that we took part of the way to the top of the radio tower hill from where much of the island and town can be seen, a pleasant hike, but bring plenty of water as the road section of the hike is exposed. We rented a car on our last day, since we were not diving, to see more of the island. We went south to poke around two wrecked WWII aircraft by the old runway and one mounted on a pedestal, a small park, and a well presented stone money bank. We then went north to see the largest beach on Yap, modest in size, but most of the island is surrounded by mangroves, so any beach is unusual.

We had a couple of our meals during the week on the Mnuw, a wooden ship attached to the Manta Ray Bay. The food was good, but overpriced for what we got, especially for the pizza, which was only OK. We also ate at the Marina Restaurant, which was simple, but good value for the price, especially the daily special. However, most of the time we ate at the Oasis, right across the street from the Waterfront as we found the food there varied, good, and reasonably priced.

Overall, Yap is a good spot for a dive vacation in a relaxed atmosphere.
Websites Beyond The Reef   O'Keefe's Waterfront Inn

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Hawaii, Tahiti, St. Vincent, Borneo, Curacao, Bonaire, Cozumel, Saba, GBR
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 28-28°C / 82-82°F Wetsuit Thickness 4
Water Visibility 5-25 M / 16-82 Ft

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions None.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters N/A Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 5 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]
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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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