Accepting the lemons (for now) – Bill’s Update #8

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining and boat trips with my grandkids is something I’ve been looking forward to for many years. Having the “luxury” to pick any day of the week instead of being on the boat with our divers for a few days every week, kind of “bothers” me though. At the end, life is all about balance and the balance is gone, at least for now. Guess you’re experiencing the same, although many of you don’t have the opportunity that I have due to all the restrictions that are in place around the world.

Enjoying a fishing trip with OO & TT

Yes, we’re still COVID19-free which is a blessing and although many countries are experiencing an extension of the first, second or third wave, I wish our Government would start working to develop an “exit strategy”. Being on Yap for over 40 years taught me to take things as they come and up to a certain extent that’s very comforting and healthy, but to sit back and wait until the rest of the world solves our problems, is simply not in my nature. More anticipation and being pro-active would be welcome as it’s hard for me to get messages from divers that have had to cancel their trip to Yap but are writing that email while being on a dive trip in Cozumel.

Do not worry, I’m still diving like I did with OP, Mike, and John last week. The 4 of us, along with William our boat captain, decided enough is enough – let’s get wet.  We dived Peelaek Corner, Valley of the Rays and Stonehenge.  Boy was it wonderful to be back in the water but more importantly, back with some of the guys who made Yap Divers.  We saw eagle rays, turtles, the mantas, and all sorts of other wonderful creatures of the sea.  This week, the plan is for us to go South to see what Yap Caverns, Buena Vista and Cabbage Patch have to offer and then the plan is Vertigo and Mil Channel.  Wish you were here with us.

Spotted Eagle Ray by Brad Holland

 

There is more good news as we, actually it was YOU, did it again! Last week the results of Scuba Diving Magazine Reader’s Awards were announced and I’m very proud that we have again been chosen as one of the 5 best dive resorts in the Pacific/Indian Ocean region. This was not the only category we were recognized, however.

Region – Pacific and Indian Ocean

 
BEST OVERALL DIVE DESTINATIONS – Yap

Quality of Dive Boats – Yap Divers at Manta Ray Bay Hotel, Micronesia
Quality of Facilities  – Yap Divers at Manta Ray Bay Hotel, Micronesia
Quality of Staff – Yap Divers at Manta Ray Bay Hotel, Micronesia

BEST OVERALL DIVE RESORTS – Manta Ray Bay Resort, Yap, Micronesia

Quality of the Resort – Manta Ray Bay Resort, Yap, Micronesia
Quality of the Rooms – Manta Ray Bay Resort, Yap, Micronesia
Quality of the Restaurant – Manta Ray Bay Resort, Yap, Micronesia
Quality of Staff – Manta Ray Bay Resort, Yap, Micronesia
Value of Resort – Manta Ray Bay Resort, Yap, Micronesia
 
 
For all the results please click here.
 

While a new website is in the making, we are still trying to enhance the features and experience of the present site. Probably one of the most important is the Pros’ Photo Gallery. Throughout the years I had the privilege to meet and welcome many top U/W Photographers and many – if not all – became good friends. So far we have 7 photo pros and their astonishing work on our website and there are more to come. Have a look at our Pros’ Gallery via this link.


Just a selection of the photo pro’s gallery

 

In my 3rd blog I wrote the following.

We want your best, or favorite, shots of your past trip or trips to Manta Ray and Yap Divers. Hopefully, it will help you pass the time and revive some great memories while you are in lock-down.  What better way to while away the time than by thinking of the fond memories you have about diving on Yap?

We hope you will contribute to the new site by going through all those images you shot during your stay with us. Please upload them via https://www.mantaray.com/manta-ray-bay-gallery-home/. We are offering 4 Ikelite Gift Vouchers of $25 each to those guests who submit the 4 best sets of photos to be added to our website guest gallery.  To see what you can purchase with these Gift Vouchers, please go to https://www.ikelite.com/. You can either order online via Ikelite’s website or locate a dealer near you.  Please note that online orders can only be shipped to a US address. Don’t forget to insert your name in the filename that you’re uploading so we know who to give the credit to. „

 We did receive a few submissions, but I hope that more divers will submit their images as this competition is open till December 31 of this year. Don’t be shy, photo pro or not, we value all pictures that show your fond memories of Yap.

 

Last, but not least, our 10 reasons “not to come to Yap”. In this blog reason #5.

Let’s remind you of reasons #1 thru 4. 

“Reason #1 Not to come to Yap”

If you like crowded dive sites don’t come to Yap. … with barely 1,000 divers a year visiting Yap, all dive sites are exclusively for you and your dive buddies.

“Reason #2 Not to come to Yap”

If you are looking for long boat rides to get to the dive sites, don’t come to Yap. Most of our dive sites are within a 20-minute boat ride, while our mandarin fish, night & bonfire dives are not even 5 minutes from the dock.

“Reason #3 Not to come to Yap”

If you don’t like to discover and encounter a wide range of marine life during your dives, don’t come to Yap. We have a permanent manta ray population, abundant reef sharks, great walls, mating mandarin fish, macro life and pristine hard corals.

“Reason #4 Not to come to Yap”

If you don’t like that your room, the dive shop, the dive boat dock, the bar/restaurant, and all other facilities are within a maximum of 2 minutes “walk”, don’t come to Yap. We are built by and for divers. Personalized service and convenience is our goal.

“Reason #5 Not to come to Yap”

If you want to limit the type of dives you like to do, don’t come to Yap.

When diving in Yap, you can experience an amazing cavern dive at Yap Caverns, life-changing experience of Manta diving at the cleaning stations, adventurous drift dives in Mi’l Channel, adrenaline spike Shark diving at Vertigo, Bonfire diving just a few minutes boat ride from our dock, breathtaking Mandarin fish diving at Rainbow Reef, impressive wall diving at Spanish Walls, Blackwater diving in the world’s 2nd deepest oceanic trench, colorful coral diving at Magic Kingdom and amazing macro diving at Slow N Easy just to mention a few.

 

A parting shot for you:

Father Murphy walks into a pub in Donegal, and asks the first man he meets, ‘Do you want to go to heaven?

The man said, ‘I do, Father.’

The priest said, ‘Then stand over there against the wall.’

Then the priest asked the second man, ‘Do you want to go to heaven?’ 

‘Certainly, Father,’ the man replied.

‘Then stand over there against the wall,’ said the priest.

Then Father Murphy walked up to O’Toole and asked, ‘Do you want to go to heaven?’

O’Toole said, ‘No, I don’t Father.’

The priest said, ‘I don’t believe this. You mean to tell me that when you die you don’t want to go to heaven?’

O’Toole said, ‘Oh when I die, yes. I thought you were getting a group together to go right now.’


Lucky 13 – Bill’s Update #7

Among all the – almost depressing – news from around the world there’s also some good news that reaches our shores. We’re very proud to have been voted in the top 25 of resorts for the (South) Pacific region which included Australia and New Zealand. Knowing that there are more that 20,000 resorts/hotels in this region, coming in on #13 is quite an accomplishment and being rewarded with the “2020 Trip Advisor’s Traveler’s Choice Award”.

This is actually the 2nd time we are voted in the top 25. “Back” in 2017 was the first time and a good friend of mine wrote to me “Not only has Yap never won before… there’s never been dive resort win as it isn’t an official category.” Again, like in 2017 we are the only dive resort and the only resort in Micronesia/Palau in the top 25. For the full list please click here. Only a handful of Travelers’ Choice winners are now honored as Traveler’s Choice Best of the Best, representing the most exceptional, highest-rated properties around the world. These businesses are among the top 1% of all listings on TripAdvisor.  In addition to these two years of being included with the Best of the Best, we have also been awarded with TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice award 8 years running.

 Although closed we’re planning to have a small get-together with our staff to celebrate this achievement. Obviously a big “Thank You” for all those that submitted an “Excellent” review on TripAdvisor the last 12 months. For those who haven’t done yet, please give us a head-start by submitting your review here.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Acker family (l to r, Numie, Bill, Patricia & OP Acker) showing off
our Trip Advisor award

 

The prospects for reopening any time soon remain not very positive and where countries around the world try to deal with the “new normal” our leaders are focusing on keeping the status-quo. From a public healthcare perspective an understandable choice, but just hoping that some willingness to start discussing the format of an exit strategy will be shown soon. We understand that our customers are trying to plan 2021 vacations and we are hoping to be able to let you know when we may be able to accept guests as well as what protocols those guests will need to adhere to in order to be allowed into the country.  Please bear with us.  We are working on it.

DEMA 2020 that was supposed to take place in New Orleans this year was already cancelled by its organizers. Although InterDive Friedrichshafen 2020, BOOT Duesseldorf and InterDive Frankfurt in 2021 are still planned to take place, I’m afraid that we won’t attend those shows. We’ll all miss meeting old friends and tell new friends about our beautiful island, but the reality is that it doesn’t make sense to go there not knowing when we’re going to be open again. This beside the fact that we probably could leave on one of the monthly flights out but getting back home will be a challenge until flights are back to normal again.

 

 

 

 


Patricia, Bill & Detlef with two of our regular repeat guests Hubert & Brigitta

 

Doesn’t mean though that we can’t take your questions and inquiries though. If you have questions about our new hotel/dive packages, best way to get to Yap or any other question about your next dive vacation to Yap please let me know and drop me an email via bill@mantaray.com.

In my last post I told you about the marine biology program we were hosting for students at Yap’s Catholic High School. The program is finished, and it was a great experience for both the kids and I.

The last day of the program was a snorkel at Vertigo. Needless to say, that all of them were thrilled and super excited, one thing I learned though is that snorkeling with a group of teenagers at a shark site is quite “challenging and intense” so to say. See the video and photos shot by Jarvis Falow, giving you an idea of this year’s program. Planning to repeat next year and actually have it part of a Family Dive Vacation package where the parents go out diving and their kids join our local teenagers in the program. Is there a better way to learn about Yap’s marine life and rich culture than joining a local program like this?

 

 

I promised to give you the list of 10 reasons “Not to come to Yap”, but instead of giving them to you all at once, I will give one with each blog post during this Coronavirus crisis.

“Reason #1 Not to come to Yap”


If you like crowded dive sites don’t come to Yap. … with barely 1,000 divers a year visiting Yap, all dive sites are exclusively for you and your dive buddies.

“Reason #2 Not to come to Yap”

If you are looking for long boat rides to get to the dive sites, don’t come to Yap. Most of our dive sites are within a 20-minute boat ride, while our mandarin fish, night & bonfire dives are not even 5 minutes from the dock.

“Reason #3 Not to come to Yap”




If you don’t like to discover and encounter a wide range of marine life during your dives, don’t come to Yap. We have a permanent manta ray population, abundant reef sharks, great walls, mating mandarin fish, macro life and pristine hard corals.

“Reason #4 Not to come to Yap”


If you don’t like that your room, the dive shop, the dive boat dock, the bar/restaurant, and all other facilities are within a maximum of 2 minutes “walk”, don’t come to Yap. We are built by and for divers. Personalized service and convenience is our goal.

 

As you know, all but a few of our employees are unfortunately – temporary – laid-off. One of the first thing I told my staff was, “if you want to learn a new skill or get an extra diploma/certificate, this is the time to do it”.

Happily my words did not fall on deaf ears. Numie started to pick-up video editing, as you might have noticed via our Facebook page, and a new video from her hands is coming soon. Detlef is learning the art of fiber glassing and Jude is improving his farmer’s skills with great results. I’m very proud of all of them and happy to let you know that OP has been certified as an SSI Instructor as well.

 

 

 

 

 

           Jude                            OP                          Detlef                         Numie

We continue to go fishing, farm, and give staff access to Patricia’s taro patch to help them as much as we can.  The Government also has a much-needed unemployment benefit scheme. Life is good but we miss our daily interactions with each other, and we all miss you – our customers – whom we consider to be friends and family.  Until we are together again, please stay safe and healthy.  These are unprecedented times indeed.

 


Prophetic Words – Bill’s Update #6

I told my staff back in February when customers were asking about Summer travel plans in view of COVID-19, “If we’re still in a lockdown this Summer, the world has a serious problem”. Everyone likes it when their words became reality, but man I wish I were wrong when I said those words!

I am sure many of you, especially in the Americas, are on a roller coaster ride. In the US you have gone from a stay-home order in March to opening-up in May to having a spike in cases again. In South America, the situation is getting worse day-by-day.

Although we don’t have to deal with Coronavirus on Yap, the uncertainty the future will is scary. The FSM government is doing its best to support the businesses affected and without that support life would have been much more difficult for us. On the other hand, as explained in my previous blog, there is no sign from State and National governments that they are working to develop an exit strategy which would set the guidelines to allow us to open eventually. A reality we just must deal with.

The good news is that the first unemployment benefit checks for our employees have been issued and hopefully the rest will follow soon. With this support, funded by the US, our staff will not have to worry about paying bills or putting food on the table – at least for now.

Another development that brightens the present situation, is a marine biology program we’re hosting for students at Yap’s Catholic High School.  During the coming weeks, 30 students will learn about the unique underwater biodiversity of their island. Many of them will leave Yap at the end of this Summer to study abroad and hopefully the program will give them the enthusiasm to become true ambassadors for Yap’s unique marine life.

Students of Yap Catholic High School bring life back in the resort by attending marine biology program

I promised to give you the list of 10 reasons “Not to come to Yap”, but instead of giving them to you all at once, I will give one with each blog post during this Coronavirus crisis.

“Reason #1 Not to come to come to Yap”

If you like crowded dive sites don’t come to Yap. … with barely 1,000 divers a year visiting Yap, all dive sites are exclusively for you and your dive buddies.

“Reason #2 Not to come to come to Yap”

If you are looking for long boat rides to get to the dive sites, don’t come to Yap. Most of our dive sites are within a 20-minute boat ride, while our mandarin fish, night & bonfire dives are not even 5 minutes from the dock.

“Reason #3 Not to come to come to Yap”

If you don’t like to discover and encounter a wide range of marine life during your dives, don’t come to Yap. We have a permanent manta ray population, abundant reef sharks, great walls, mating mandarin fish, macro life and pristine hard corals.

Although famous for our permanent manta residents,  Yap has so much more to offer

 

Earlier, I asked you to cast your vote in the various award competitions organized by magazines. It is a way for us to stay on the radar of divers around the world knowing that other destinations are reopening, and we are not. Please click on this link to vote for the Dive Travel Awards organized by UK’s Dive Magazine.

 

We have canceled this year’s MantaFest event, but while we are redesigning both of our websites, you can visit  www.mantafest.com for information on the 2021 event.

So looking forward to see you all again at the 2021 MantaFest 

Follow us on the various social media platforms and ask your dive buddies to do the same.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


We miss you – Bill’s Update #5

 

As many of you know, deep sea fishing is, after diving, my favorite hobby and last Saturday together with my son-in-law Francis, our former maintenance manager Teolu and William, one of our boat captains, we tried our luck. Where basically every dive you do on Yap guarantees you to see beautiful marine life, fishing is still called fishing instead of catching, as the outcome is always uncertain. One small Wahoo was a disappointing catch, but not being busy with reeling in the big boys, I had time to think about what to share with you.

I am beginning to see positive signs of the world trying to return to normal or at least as normal as it is going to get for a while. I told you in my previous blog that the National Government has stepped up to the plate to support affected businesses such as us and they will be aiding our staff in the form of unemployment benefits. The staff have completed the 4-page applications, but the actual payments have not begun as I write this. Reading and watching the news that other islands, countries and dive destinations are opening up again is also a positive sign. I wish the business owners of the world all the best as things get back to normal, but I cannot deny that sometimes I am thinking, “why not us?”

The answer to that question is simple, but also complicated to understand. As you all know we are one of the few places in the world that have remained Coronavirus free and the decision makers are very proud of that. They should be, although it came with a huge cost to the economy, especially the tourism sector. I am afraid the Coronavirus is, and will remain, a part of our lives and even when a vaccine is developed it will not disappear. It’s great that we managed to stay free of this awful virus, but it’s time to develop not only a vaccine, but also an exit strategy. Most of my time is spent working with the State and National leadership to develop that exit strategy. The complicated part of the answer “why not us?” lies in the same reason why Yap is so special and unique; remote, pure, and traditional. People on island are hesitant to open and are carefully watching as re-opening efforts around the world begin to take place. I will keep advocating that an exit strategy be developed as it is not only good for our business and employees, but most of all, it is because we miss you.

 


We Miss You!

The Coronavirus pandemic and resulting travel bans have changed dive travel as we know it and we at the Manta Ray Bay Resort & Yap Divers are using this time to plan for changes which will improve the customer experience. A revised dive plan is number one on the list and is the major change you will immediately notice.

Our normal dive day will now include wake-up coffee/tea in your room, breakfast, 3 dives including lunch, ordered from a menu, served on the dive boats between the 2nd and 3rd dives. NITROX is also included for all Enriched Air certified divers.

 


After a 3-tank dive day enjoy our home brew and dinner on the Mnuw

This change is a result of the overwhelming demand and success of our SuperSize packages from the past. You will have the option to opt out of 3 tanks per day but due to distance, cost of flights and the multitude of exciting dive sites in Yap, we wish to make it easier for you and your dive buddies to get the most for your vacation dollar. For our revised rates please visit https://www.mantaray.com/rates/.  Also, please note that we are taking reservations for the future and these reservations will be easy to change, if travel bans require.

Belated Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there. My family got together for the day and it is one of those times when I realize how blessed I am as a husband, father and grandfather. Hope you enjoyed your day as much as my family and I did.

 


 Hope you all had a wonderful Father’s Day

 

All the best.  Please stay safe & healthy! 

Bill, family, and staff

 


Positive Signs – Bill’s Update #4

While sitting here on my porch with a nice cup of coffee, watching the sunrise over the Pacific Ocean and trying to decide what to write to all of you very special people, it dawned on me just how lucky we are here in Yap to have such good Internet connections to the world.  Without the Internet, we would have very little clue as to what is happening beyond the reef. In the old days, our news came via radio and the Voice of America.  Now, we can follow world events live and sitting here, it is my understanding that most of the world is beginning to come out of lockdown and working to slowly bring life back to normal.  At least that is my hope of what is happening, and I wish to urge anyone reading this that the virus is not yet contained so please continue to be safe and stay well.

In Yap, we have managed to avoid the virus altogether.  We have had people quarantined and we did have a curfew for a few weeks but all is back to normal now and we are still Corona-free, have been since the beginning and we will remain Corona-free for the foreseeable future due to the absence of passenger flights. No divers or other visitors, but at least life here has remained reasonably “normal”. If you have followed my previous blogs on the subject, you will know that most of our employees have been laid-off since early March.  This has been a big strain on my family and I as these are not just employees.  They are trusted associates, friends and in some cases blood relatives but all are thought of as family.  Worrying about their health and well being and that of their children has not been the easiest but there is now a bright light at the end of this tunnel.

We are thankful that the National Government has devised a scheme to support affected businesses and while the assistance is but a fraction of the revenue lost, it is enough to keep us floating. More importantly though is that our employees will start receiving unemployment benefits from the National Government.  We are the first company on Yap that is going to be able to assist our employees with unemployment benefits and all those who are eligible will get those benefits within a few weeks. We keep trying to support our employees, but there is a limit to what we can do, so I am very happy that they will get unemployment benefits soon.

For those who have not read, or received our special newsletter, I want to share with you our new, relaxed booking policies. The deposit to confirm your booking has been reduced from 25% to 10%, final payment is now due 30 days prior to arrival as opposed to the previous 60 and we will provide full refunds for all monies paid in case of a cancellation due to Coronavirus.

Awards Season has started, and we are asking for your support to vote for us in two award competitions. The first one is organized by Condé Nast Traveller and by clicking this link you can nominate us for their 2020 Readers’ Choice Awards. Please note that voting is open only until May 31st.

Scuba Diving Magazine is asking their readers to nominate the best dive resorts and dive shops for their 2021 Readers Choice Awards. Please remember us when casting your vote by clicking this link.  Voting ends on June 7th.

I promised to give you the list of 10 reasons “Not to come to Yap”, but instead of giving them to you all at once, I’ll give one with each blog post during this Coronavirus crisis. Last time I gave reason #1.

1) If you like crowded dive sites don’t come to Yap. … with barely 1,000 divers a year visiting Yap, all dive sites are exclusively for you and your dive buddies.

“Reason #2  Not to come to come to Yap”

2) If you are looking for long boat rides to get to the dive sites, don’t come to Yap. Most of our dive sites are within a 20-minute boat ride, while our mandarin fish, night & bonfire dives are not even 5 minutes from the dock.

 

Our donation to the frontline healthcare workers is getting very nice results as we have received 85 nominations to date. We are inviting our past guests and followers to nominate people they know who have been working hard in the fight against Covid-19.  We will select 20 people and provide them with the chance to relax and refresh with seven nights in an Ocean View Room and five days of diving at Manta Ray Bay Resort & Yap Divers. To nominate your “Healthcare Hero” please go to this page on our website.

As you all know, I’m probably the biggest fan of our home brew and tend to brag on it to anyone who will listen.  Well, now I have proof, as we have been awarded a Silver Medal in one of the most esteemed international competitions in the world. 

Every year in Lyons, France, the capital of French gastronomy, the Concurs International de Lyons Wine, Beer and Spirits Competition showcases the world’s top libations to decide which are the best of the best.  The Lyon International Competition judges 70 categories of beer and, according to the event’s website,meets strict organizational rules with storage conditions optimal, a classification of beers that takes into account many criteria, a blind tasting, a control of the selected tasters and a rating grid.”

 

 

My buddy Greg Wilson and I may have been the ones to start to brew Manta Gold in my wife Patricia’s kitchen some 21 years ago, but without the help of Ian Ward from London, England, who set-up the brewery and developed the recipes and the constant dedication of our brew master, Fredy Gull from Zurich, Switzerland, we wouldn’t have our own award winning beer today. Just writing this makes me thirsty.

Parting shot for our regular newsletter subscribers.


Getting used to the new – hopefully temporary – normal – Bill’s Update #3

The situation here at Manta Ray Bay Resort & Yap Divers is strange. After more than 33 years in business there are no divers to dive and talk with. Most of the staff are at home and no happy hour sessions are taking place on the Mnuw.  Instead of a hectic, always changing schedule, I am reduced to daily visits to the resort to discuss with management what to do once this nightmare is over. I know that for a lot of you, the situation is totally different. We are very fortunate that we can still walk and drive around, have family gatherings and go to the stores whenever we want.  I am sure most of you must follow strict guidelines and need to stay indoors as much as possible. In that way we are blessed, as Yap is Corona virus free.

Empty resort or not, there are still things that need to be done. Asa, our Housekeeping supervisor, is keeping all the rooms and public areas dust free and clean.  Detlef and “Capo” (Captain Ramlih, our Indonesian who came with us when we brought Mnuw to Yap) are giving the ship a deep clean and working on all kinds of maintenance projects. All boats, except Popou, are on land at our workshop in Gitam. Jude is taking care of our vegetable garden and any crops harvested are shared with those members of the staff who have been laid-off.

Left top/bottom. Jude working in our “Garden”/Mini-farm. Right top. Asa keeping the rooms clean and dust free. Right bottom. Detlef and “Capo” working on the Mnuw.

One of the projects we’re working on is fine-tuning our website and this is something we really want you to help with. We want your best, or favorite, shots of your past trip or trips to Manta Ray and Yap Divers. Hopefully, it will help you pass the time and revive some great memories while you are in lock-down.  What better way to while away the time than by thinking of the fond memories you have about diving on Yap?

We hope you will contribute to the new site by going through all those images you shot during your stay with us. Please upload them via https://www.mantaray.com/manta-ray-bay-gallery-home/. We are offering 4 Ikelite Gift Vouchers of $25 each to those guests who submit the 4 best sets of photos to be added to our website guest gallery.  To see what you can purchase with these Gift Vouchers, please go to https://www.ikelite.com/. You can either order online via Ikelite’s website or locate a dealer near you.  Please note that online orders can only be shipped to a US address. Dont forget to insert your name in the filename that you’re uploading so we know who to give the credit to. 

Hope you enjoyed my previous blog highlighting the efforts we have undertaken to find the perfect Bonfire Dive site. Once back to “normal”, it’s a dive I certainly recommend and will do myself. If you have any questions about our Bonfire dive, or anything else, please send me a message at bill@mantaray.com.  Looks like this crisis is going to take a while, so with the rainy season approaching and the trade winds fading, we will also start preparing to do some blackwater dives. Obviously, I will keep you posted on discoveries as they happen.

I promised to give you the list of 10 reasons “Not to come to Yap”, but instead of giving them to you all at once, I’ll give one with each blog post during this Coronavirus crisis.

Reason #1 “Not to come to come to Yap”:

1) No one at your dive site … with barely 1,000 divers a year visiting Yap, all dive sites are for you and your dive buddies exclusively.

Bet “Quadrum” and “Threestep” don’t know we have this crisis and are wondering where the divers are.

 Let’s hope that our annual MantaFest U/W Photography School and Contest scheduled for August 30 through September 12 will take place.  In the spirit of the “glass is half full”, I want to invite you and your friends to join us this year.  To book your trip, please e-mail Darlene at welcome@mantaray.com. For those who may be leery of making travel plans now, I offer you this insurance policy. If you book before August 1st and pay the deposit and for any Corona virus related reason decide not to travel, I will refund you IN FULL providing that you give me 7 days’ notice. This money-back guarantee applies to deposits as well as any full payments. If you want some more information about this great event visit www.mantafest.com or email me at bill@mantaray.com.

Can’t come this year? How about booking for next year August 28 to September 12, 2021, or the year after August 27 to September 11, 2022. Make a deposit and we will lock-in 2020 rates and offer a complete refund should you need to cancel at any time due to a Corona virus related issue.

I leave you with this:

“The other day I asked my wife if I was the only one she had been with.  She said, no, all the others were tens?”

Alright my friends, we miss you and hope we can welcome you all soon. Take care, be safe and stay healthy.

Bill, family, and staff

Those who know our brew master Fredy Gull also know that he doesn’t like parties, at least not anymore. That didn’t stop us from recognizing his 75th birthday. Mail him your birthday wishes at fredy@mantaray.com.


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Michael Wüthrich
Michael Wüthrich
09:27 24 Jun 20
Awesom dive experience. we dived for a week with Yap divers and every dive was varied and very beautiful. We benefited from the pre-corona time in March which meant that there were very few tourists on Yap. (3...)read more
R. Frobhboese
R. Frobhboese
06:21 13 May 20
We have been twice at Manta Ray Bay. The staff was exzellent dive guides as well as people on the Mnuw, not to mention the Amber👌 The sharks at Vertigo and the Mantas at Stammtisch are a must for every diver. We hope to be back!read more
Fariborz Zak
Fariborz Zak
07:03 12 May 20
Wonderful lovely place worth to try it again
Keenan Woodmansee
Keenan Woodmansee
07:09 04 Jan 20
This is "The" place to stay. Friendly staff and great hotel and restaurant.
Sandie Chung
Sandie Chung
13:30 11 Dec 19
My fourth time to Manta Ray Bay Resort in Yap since 1995. Hotel still very well kept, spacious room, good services and dive centre, very well run. Enjoy my dives very much with crystal clear water, mantas, sharks and even some macros. Wish they have better flight schedules to make it easier for visitors. Love to be back again.read more
Tait Brimacombe
Tait Brimacombe
04:31 18 Oct 19
Stayed at Manta Ray Bay as part of work travel to Yap. Excellent rooms and very friendly and helpful staff who were happy to go out of their way to assist guests and ensure they had a pleasant stay. Would highly recommend and look forward to staying again in the future.read more
John Yosh
John Yosh
11:27 18 Sep 19
My experience at the Manta RayBay Resort was once in a life time. We did not dive because we were in Yap for military purposes but if I had to choose a location in which to dive it would be in Yap and I would stay at the Manta Ray Bay Resort again. Bill and his family are just wonderful and made our experience on Yap such a memorable one. I hope to come back to Yap again and if I am so privileged I would visit with my adopted family and stay at the Manta Ray Bay Resort again.read more
Yann Faure
Yann Faure
11:08 15 Jul 19
All the staff from Manta bay resort will treat you like family and make you feel at home The room was very spacious and decorated with taste The dives were very nice , especially Vertigo obviously ! Do not hesitate , just book your trip to Yap and Manta bay resort will do the rest and there will not be any bad surprise I highly recommend a stay with Bill's Acker great resort !read more
Bruce Tanner
Bruce Tanner
16:13 27 Jun 19
Completed my 7th trip to Yap this past April and it is still one of the best dive destinations and operations around. Have led groups there for those 7 years and had several repeat customers go back with me. Great staff, dive operation and beautiful hotel. And the diving is diverse and just awesome. Many of the staff have become friends and it always a treat to be greeted by name upon arrival and around the hotel. Since diving is the premier attraction the island is a paradise of relaxation and laid back attitude. If you haven't been to this area of the world you should really consider it. Bill Acker, owner and all around good guy, can help you make travel plans for visiting Yap and other great destinations in Micronesia.read more
Jendrik Schroeder
Jendrik Schroeder
15:18 15 Jun 19
It´s an excellent diving and a wonderfull cultural experience to visit Yap. The Manta Ray Bay resort provides you with friendly and skilled staff both in diving and in the hotel department. The underwater world is extremely beautifull and the island culture very interesting to explore! I enjoyed both the diving and the cultural experience to the maximum !!!!!read more
Chris Mars
Chris Mars
18:28 26 Mar 19
This is my home island.. Iam just giving it 5 star review cuz i miss home.. Feels like forever since I Last visitedread more
stacey blake
stacey blake
16:26 20 Mar 19
Beautiful resort and location, small and quaint with very attentive service from wonderful staff who were extremely friendly and helpful, and knew everyone's name (travelled with a group of 20 people) within the first day. Yap Divers staff were amazing, we were even offered hot tea during our surface intervals with some delicious snacks, and they ensured we had the best possible dive experience on each dive. I would return to this gorgeous island and absolutely stay at Manta Bay Resort again, it's well worth the trip!read more
Shaun Suliol
Shaun Suliol
11:48 12 Mar 19
The staff made sure our every needs were met! They were accommodating to my groups weird requests. We felt spoiled. They even remember our names. No where else but in Yap at the Manta Ray!read more
Doreen Korbl
Doreen Korbl
19:09 10 Mar 19
incredible service, special thanks to Ruud the resort manager
Michael Fusco
Michael Fusco
04:49 22 Jan 19
MantaRayBay Resort, is THE dive resort. It is so obvious that this place was designed for divers, BY divers. The concept that all of the guests are part of the resort family seems to be the cornerstone of MRB Resort. The dive service is top notch; the wait staff spot-on, the resort staff super friendly and attentive. The dive sites are great, especially the southern walls, and of course the cleaning stations visited so often by the Manta Rays. I have gone scuba diving all over western Asia and the Caribbean, and MRB Resort is at the top!read more
Deb Roy-Stothart
Deb Roy-Stothart
13:55 06 Dec 18
The highest level of dive service ever experienced! Fabulous dive operation from crew, boats, snacks, hot tea and water, warm towels etc. etc. and of course the Manta Rays!! Thank you for making my 100th dive so memorable. Accommodations 5 star! Food was fabulous! Can't say enough about this beautiful Island and it's people. Loved Yap! Deb & Glenn, London, Ontarioread more
Jan Toman
Jan Toman
22:14 02 Nov 18
Great! GREAT! GREAT! Lovely place, lovely staff, great location for divers!
Ms. Malinda
Ms. Malinda
13:52 14 Oct 18
Great place to stay while visiting the island. Lots of activities to do with places to see & people to meet.read more
Rene Sten
Rene Sten
04:06 12 Oct 18
Bill and his family run a great dive resort, rooms are spacious and comfortable. Restaurant and bar provide good range of food and drink. Bill and his dive guides know the reef intimately and the diving is spectacular. Bill and his family make for a very friendly and rewarding experience in Yap.read more
Jonathan Gapith
Jonathan Gapith
10:31 19 Sep 18
Best dive resort around, amazingly friendly staff and great food on the mnuw
Daniel Granzer
Daniel Granzer
11:40 23 Aug 18
We were from 11.08 to 18.08 at the Manta Ray Bay resort and had unforgettable days there 😍In total we made 12 dives with wonderful encounters. Highlights were, of course, the manta rays in the Goofnuw Channel and many white tip reef sharks in the Shark City 🦈 But also we saw eagle rays, turtles 🐢 and buffalo head parrotfish. The hotel is beautiful and the whole team does a great job there. The food on the ship Mnuw, as well as the home-brewed beer are excellent. Thank you again to the whole team of Manta Ray Bay Resort and Yap Divers 👏🏼We also did a one-day land tour to explore the many beautiful places of this unique island. The beach is like in paradise🏝, stone money and relics from the second world war very worth to see! You find there also culturally typical houses with different meaning and use! It would be nice if more visitors would come to this great island and appreciate the great work that is done there! Anyway, we really enjoyed it and would come back anytime 🙏🏻✌🏼read more
Emily Caquelin
Emily Caquelin
04:10 02 Aug 18
Manta Ray Bay Resort is a great dive resort with extremely hospitable staff.
William Myers
William Myers
21:01 21 Jul 18
Great hotel. Have stayed twice.
Jim Reilly
Jim Reilly
11:27 21 Mar 18
We stayed at the hotel and dove with Manta Ray divers in early December 2017. The hotel is very comfortable, well run and staffed with wonderful employees. During our visit my wife came down with an illness and the consideration and support from the hotel and dive staff could not have been better.read more
Sandy Stinson
Sandy Stinson
16:03 03 Mar 18
The staff couldn't be more friendly and accommodating. Food is good, (worth upgrading to include all meals). Diving is good too.read more
Alex Divinsky
Alex Divinsky
17:24 01 Jan 18
The best place to stay in Yap. The resort is really nice and clean, the scuba diving is great, and the docked ship that houses the bar, restaurant, and movie screen is very cool. I really enjoyed my stay here.read more
ASALI
ASALI
10:44 01 Jan 18
Offers one of the best accommodation service. It also has a uniquely designed restaurant.
Yi-Hsin Lin
Yi-Hsin Lin
00:53 21 Feb 17
The whole place centers around the scuba diving operation. Probably better to find somewhere else if you're not a diver. The dive operation was generally good, but a little too laid back - schedules weren't always clear, and sometimes would change without any notice. Sometimes it was hard to tell if this was really because of changing tides/weather or because of the island pace of life. Pizza is a surprisingly good option at the restaurant.read more
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