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Dive Review of Manta Ray Bay in
Micronesia/Yap, Micronesia

Manta Ray Bay: "Yap - outside of manta mating season, May 2016", May, 2016,

by Timothy C Barden, MA, US (Reviewer Reviewer 4 reports with 3 Helpful votes). Report 9106.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Manta Ray Bay is a gorgeous hotel with a lot of history. Save some time for a land tour to see all the stone money and villages. Maybe your guide will show you the proper way to chew betel nut. I did some research when I got back. The pinch of ground coral appears to neutralize the acid in the nut, releasing some alkaloids similar to nicotine which gives the euphoria. the leaf is for flavor.
The rooms are spacious and clean, each with a different fish motif. The 100-yearold junk converted to a restaurant is pretty cool. The bar topside was great during nice weather, but the covered dining area just below had plenty of windows for a nice breeze too. Not a huge food selection but okay with good-sized portions and not outrageously priced.
May is changeover season weather-wise. As expected, it was partly cloudy with brief showers. I thought the water would be a little warmer. I was expecting 80+ deg, but 78 deg needs a thin wetsuit or shorty. Very good dive facilities and attentive staff. They made it a point to learn my name much faster than I was able to learn theirs. Great dip tanks for cameras and dive gear. My advice: tip after each dive outing. The crew seem to move around and might be hard to find if you wait. They were great about setting up & rinsing gear. No problem with the nitrox and short fills, but they could be a little better about record keeping. I had to hunt for a nitrox tester and there wasn't a place to log it.
The diving was quite good, healthy reefs, plenty of fish and all that, but I was keen to see mantas. We did spot a few in the channel from a distance, but got skunked on multiple visits to the cleaning station. An unlucky prevailing wind kept us away from some of the dive sites and other likely manta spotting options. It also made the channel and cleaning station a bit murky. Several specialty dives were offered, i.e. shark, night and mandarin fish. I don't know about the other two, but the mandarin fish is a don't miss! It's a unique, beautiful little fish and the guides know right where they are. Most of our dives were manta-hunts, so I can't say too much about the general diving in Yap, but the few other dives we did were very good - probably similar to Palau except, of course, for the exceptional reef hook diving in Palau. If returning to Yap, I'd make sure to hit manta mating season, Oct.-Feb. Outside of that window, it seems pretty hit and miss.
Websites Manta Ray Bay   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving All over the Carobbeam. Truk
Closest Airport Colonia Getting There Delta direct from Tokyo avoids going through Guam

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy, cloudy Seas calm, currents
Water Temp 78-80°F / 26-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 40-80 Ft/ 12-24 M

Dive Policy

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

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 5 stars
UW Photo Comments Large, lighted dip tank for cameras. Large camera table.
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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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