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Dive Review of Manta Ray Bay in

Manta Ray Bay: "Manta Bay Resort", Aug, 2017,

by Ellen Marie Smith, MN, US (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 24 reports with 12 Helpful votes). Report 9952 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments We arrived in YAP after a 27 + hour long airplane journey on United Airlines. Because of the length of the journey and the fact that we were traveling with all our dive gear and my 81 year old mother-in-law (who is a VERY YOUNG 81), we opted for business class tickets. I was routed from MSP to San Fran to Hawaii (no lay down bed), Hawaii to Guam (lay down bed) and Guam to YAP. The airport baggage claim in Yap was a sight to behold. We arrived in the middle of the night and one pickup truck and one guy offloaded our bags. The rest of the airport staff was busy helping passengers who were boarding the airplane for its continued journey. The Yapese people who were also arriving brought back ice chests full of meat (which were filled with fish when they left the island), tires, and various equipment of all types. It took over an hour in 90 degrees / 90 percent humidity for us to get all our gear, but we were happy it all made it! We arrived at Manta Bay Resort in Yap in the middle of the night and were able to get some sleep. The staff was very helpful with our large gear bags. The next morning, we managed to get ourselves together for a 2 dive day – a great start! We dove on a delayed start schedule at 10am. I had a new camera/housing/light set up, so much of these first dives were learning curve for me. The water was very warm (84-86 degrees) and with only a small amount current. The coral is very healthy here - staghorn and plate corals abound with a few soft corals as well. The diving was at a comfortable pace and the Mantas were the “big” thing to see. The Manta Bay resort dive shop used to guarantee that you would see Mantas while diving, but this is no longer so. We were visiting in the “off season” but that said, we saw Mantas on a few different occasions at the cleaning stations. These Mantas are much bigger than the same type of Mantas we saw in Hawaii. Graceful and shy, we saw up to 3 at a time. My favorite dive was at a site called “Vertigo”, where they bait the sharks. We went one day with no baiting and plenty of sharks showed up, the second day with bait being an awesome photo opportunity. The black tips are especially beautiful, and the larger grey sharks were graceful. Things I had not seen before and I added to my list: mandarinfish (mating!) and a leaf fish. I really appreciate the photos that I’ve seen of mandarinfish – this is a subject I did not master!
The Manta Ray Bay Resort is very nice - not super fancy but everything you need, including warmish water for showering. The restaurant is a large wooden sail boat that is moored outside of the resort. The Yapese staff quickly learns your name and makes you feel welcome. The dive shop has a nice camera table area where it is safe to store gear and they put a bucket on the boat for my camera. I absolutely adored the dive staff and boat captains. We had no problems with our tank fills and often were in the water well over an hour. We opted for the extra $ plan where they clean your gear every night as it was very reasonable. There were two different boats -- ours (more experienced) and another. Our boat Captain was from an island 300 miles away from Yap where they still don’t use any type of money. They trade or share with the whole island tribe. Recently a French group came and provided them with solar power. He said he prefers the older style island houses (made from local materials) to the houses with aluminum roofs, as the aluminum buildings are hot and blow down in storms. His home island has an infirmary and store made of the new type of building. All very interesting to hear about and it made me wish I could have visited. We dove 10 dives in three days, 2 dives on day one and 4 dives the following 2 days. Even though we were there in "off" season, I really enjoyed our time at Manta Bay Resort and I would go back. We went from Yap to the Palau Aggressor then on to the Truk Blue Lagoon Resort. A three week adventure!
Websites Manta Ray Bay   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Red Sea, Galapagos, Hawaii, Caribbean (Cozumel, Belize, Turneffe, Utila, Turks & Caicos, St. Martin, Nevis & St. Kitts), California, Cocos, Socorro, & Ustica (Italy), Yap, Palau, & Truk.
Closest Airport YAP Getting There United Airlines to Guam, Guam to Yap

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 84-86°F / 29-30°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 100-150 Ft/ 30-46 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions We had long dives -- over an hour and sometimes an hour and a half! Since we were only doing three dives a day, the whole boat dove this schedule and it was pleasant.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 5 stars
UW Photo Comments There was a large rinse tank on board and the boat crew was very helpful with my camera.
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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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