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Dive Review of Manta Diver/Manta Ray Bay in
Micronesia

Manta Diver/Manta Ray Bay, Apr, 2008,

by Paul S. Jacobsen, CA, USA (Reviewer Reviewer 5 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 4416.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving [Unspecified]
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather windy Seas choppy
Water Temp 80 to 82 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 4
Water Visibility 40 to 150 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 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 4 stars Boat Facilities 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 4 stars
UW Photo Comments Great work area on shore to set up system and charge batteries. Dedicated rinse tanks, that are tiled and lighted.

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 3 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Manta Ray Bay (MRB) for a week prior to a live aboard on Palau. Having the week on Yap first made the pace good and I was able to get on the time zone with little pain in preparation for Palau.

MRB is a superbly run operation and I was impressed that the owner, Bill, is still investing further to improve it. Such as he purchased more land away from the resorts to move off site the laundry, storage and be able to haul his boats out at night. The buildings and rooms are in top notch condition and newly remodeled. My room was a Standard room, but I was very impressed with its excellent quality, comfort and condition. It had the best bed of any hotel I've ever stayed in (even four star hotels). I probably didn't need the single supplement that week as the resort was light, but I was glad I had the whole room to myself to spread out. Depending on the week the resort could be full so a single might have to share a room.

The dive set up of the resort is excellent and convenient, with a well organized dive operation, dive gear storage, and rinse tanks, just steps away from the boats and rooms. There are separate camera tables and charging work areas. Separate gear and camera rinse tanks, (but no camera rinse on the boats). Your dive gear ends up on the boat each morning set up for you. Theyll unload at the end of the day and you just pull your gear out of the rinse tank and hang it to dry. Yan the dive manager is very personable and will typically try to adjust to your schedule or interests. Arriving at the resort when I did put me on a different schedule than other groups already there. So instead of sticking me on different boats with a new group, Yan had me stay with the same captain and dive guide which meant I had a boat to myself several times. Even on the last day for a land tour I couldn't go in the morning when they normally ran the tours, so MRB arranged my own driver for a personal tour in the afternoon to fit my schedule.

The resorts dining set up is nice with a 100 year old Chinese sailing boat, the Mnu, moored at the resort which is the restaurant and the top deck is the open air bar. This is a great place for sunsets and an evening drink in the steady nightly breeze. All meals area available on the Mnu, with typical American breakfast items to Dinner. The selection for food was somewhat limited and I thought a little too high at the resort, but I found a local spot just a 2 minute walk that was less expensive for lunch. I'm glad I had the breakfast package, but a full meal package would have been a waste. Being on an island the selections declined as the week went on as the supplies where getting short since the monthly supply ship was going to arrive the next week. But that's part of the island experience.

MRB in a sense is a victim of their own successful marketing of their Manta Ray dives. Most divers mistakenly think there is only Manta Ray dives and week might be to long. However the reef diving in many instances was excellent and much better than I had expected. A week is not too long, with some Europeans spending several weeks at MRB. I did see Mantas on two dives; however they are not as consistent this time of year versus other times. One group had gone 5 days without seeing a Manta. The typical Manta drill is hanging out near a cleaning station and wait in the sand for the Mantas, great if they show up, boring if they dont. When they do show up you are close to you and they stay a long time being cleaned. Its an awesome experience.

MRB has fast twin outboard boats with the commute times are typically 20 to 40 minutes depending on how far away the sites are and the tide level. The typical schedule is a 2 tank morning dive, back for lunch then a single tank afternoon dive. The afternoon dives are usually on the inside of the reef, near the resort and mostly rubble looking for lion fish or other small critters. Not that great of a dive considering the extra charge (depending on your package). If you have a group of experienced divers and the afternoon winds a calmer talk to Yan to see if you can get him to go to the outside reef, but be prepared for a bumpy ride.

The reefs on Yap are healthy and very colorful, with a good assortment tropical species, as well as a good selection sharks. (MRB offers a Shark feeding dive which I have heard good comments about.) While most of Yap reefs are really nice the reefs on the south end I think are the best. One site, Magic Kingdom, have coral formations that were the most spectacular and beautiful of any dive of Yap and Palau combined.

A must see at MRB is the Mandarin fish night dive. The location is near the resort and always has Mandarin Fish, which is a great opportunity for photographers. Its an extra charge, but worth it. I didnt see mating my dive but saw plenty of Mandarin fish in the coral. Since the dive is only 20 ft, you can stay as long as you want.
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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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