Bill Acker stirs it up on the Mnuw

Today saw the first day’s training in the kitchen on board the Mnuw, our 100 year old floating restaurant moored by the Manta Ray Bay Resort.  The reason for the training you might ask?  Well, we are in the process of totally overhauling our menu and putting into place something that is exciting, fresh, tantalizing and unique for the island of Yap.  Not only will we  be offering the best diving in Yap, but also the best dining.

Fish Tacos

In the kitchen today Bill held two training sessions for all the staff on how to make the perfect fish taco.  I was there to sample one…well ok two or three and they tasted damn good.  I’m sure it was down to all the years of his legendary Texas BBQs!  The aim of changing the menu is to get good tasty food to our guests fast and to satisfy hungers that diving the great sites of Yap can only give you.

The sort of dishes you can expect to see on the new menu are, gourmet sandwiches, wide range of tacos, fish dishes, including catch of the day, our great appetizers (which we are keeping).  We will be offering good sized burgers, all made from 100% Angus beef, with a tasty selection of toppings.  We will of course have our pizza menu.  We have increased our selection of desserts too, so there will be something to please those with a sweet tooth!

Keep checking our blog for notification of the final menu and launch date.   So now there is another reason to come visit us here in Micronesia.


Peter Schneider’s First Shark Dive in Yap

Here I am, at the Manta Ray Bay Resort on the island of Yap in the Pacific region known as Micronesia.  After a long journey from French Polynesia, my video equipment and I have arrived safely.  I had just enough time to set up my diving and video equipment, when Yap Divers announced  a Shark Dive. Yessss, I thought …that is the right way to start my new job as a photo/video pro at Manta Visions.  I was very excited to meet up with the local shark population for the first time and was wondering how many sharks we will see and how close I can get to them.  You know, …I have done more than a thousand shark dives before and honestly I thought it will be hard to impress me.

Sharks in Yap

So how was it, you ask?

As a warm-up Bill Acker, owner/operator of the resort, brought down a basket of fish carcasses and placed it in a crevice in the coral at a depth of 10 meters (30+ feet).  The sharks, mostly grey reef sharks with a few blacktip reef sharks in the midst, smelled the bait but couldn’t get it.  They stayed really cool and the divers, …among them several photographers, had time to find a good place for taking their desired pictures.  The less experienced divers got time to get used to the presence of the sharks.  I started to love them from the first minute.  It was really easy to get close and they almost posed for us.  My camera was rolling and rolling, …didn’t dare switch it off so I would not miss a scene.  It was just beautiful,  the light was perfect and the water extremely clear.

After 10 minutes or so Bill, with the help of a couple of the Yap Diver’s dive guides, brought down a large ball of frozen chum attached to a line and float so that the “chumcicle” stayed in mid-water.  This time the sharks got a bit more excited as they could actually get to the food source.  Still, the entire feed was very controlled and the sharks were just interested in the chum and ignored the divers.  Ok, ok, …some sharks were a little more interested in cameras and strobes but isn’t that what we were looking for?  “Come a little closer baby …..c’mon gimme a smile …” and they did!

Shark Chumcicle

To get the feeling you have to be here of course, …even the best pictures cannot make up for the real thing.  So I hope to see you in Yap soon so I can introduce you to my new friends.


Reef Seekers in Yap

We were fortunate to have our good friend, Mr. Ken Kurtis from Hollywood, California back in Yap recently. This was Ken’s 6th visit and he brought several of his best customers with him. Here is an excerpt from his latest newsletter:

Bill,

We had a great week (ten days actually with all the travel time) diving in Yap. Warm water, great weather (the only rain we saw – except for the final day there when we weren’t diving – was always between midnight and 6AM), wonderful animal encounters, fantastic friends at Manta Ray Bay Hotel (still my favorite diving resort in the whole world), and a good time was had by all.

Here’s an easy way of thinking about how special Yap is by looking at these four images from our dives on Thursday:

Dive 1 – Valley of the Rays @ 10:11AM:
image001

Dive 2 – Vertigo shark feed @ 11:46AM:

image002

Dive 3 – Gilman Wall @ 2:18PM

image003

Dive 4 – O’Keefe Island @ 7:50PM

image004

This is a collection of animals that most divers would be happy to see over the course of an entire week. We saw them in a space of less than nine hours on a single day. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: You’ve got to go to Yap.

I’ll be working on the trip report and the pictures (and maybe a video too) and will send those to you separately, hopefully towards the end of the week. In the meantime, here are a dozen more images from our wonderful week in Yap: This Week (in pictures) at Reef Seekers.

© 2010 Reef Seekers Dive Co. All Rights Reserved.


World Cup – Micronesia Style

The crew of Yap Divers spent this morning with several of our guests, including Ken Kurtis of Reef Seekers Dive Company in Hollywood, California, our webmaster Dustin Macdonald, the Captain of the Spanish owned sailing yacht – Never Say Never, currently moored off from the Manta Ray Bay Resort and several local residents of Yap. What were we doing you might well ask?
Watching the World Cup Finals on Mnuw's 30' screen!

We were all watching the finals of the World Cup Football, soccer to us Yanks, between Spain and the Netherlands. We projected the game on to the big screen on the S/V Mnuw and sat around drinking fresh brewed coffee while the match was played out. The sun came up just as regulation time was ending so we moved downstairs into the Nautical Weaver lounge and showed the overtime period. I am not sure there is a better setting in the world for watching live sports than the Crow’s Nest as a full moon is rising or in our case, the sun was coming up.

Our group was evenly split between rooting for Spain and/or Holland. As a result of Spain’s 1 to 0 overtime win, Fredy, our Swiss brew meister is telling everyone that Switzerland is co-champion as a result of their opening game defeat of the Spanish.
Zebra SharkNeedless to say, it was a good morning and after breakfast, 4 dive boats departed for various locations around the island. The seas are very calm, the water is clear and the boat that I was on saw over 20 sharks including white tip, black tip, grey reef and a rare sighting of a zebra shark.


Peter Schneider übernimmt Manta Visions

ab dem 1. Juli wird Profi-Filmer Peter Schneider die Leitung von Manta Visions, dem
Video- und Foto-Center des Manta Ray Bay Resorts, übernehmen.

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Ambitionierten Filmern und Fotografen ist sein Name sicherlich ein Begriff: Nachdem
der gebürtige Berliner zwölf Jahre lang für das Deutsche Fernsehen gearbeitet hatte,
ging er für neun Jahre nach Rangiroa/Französisch-Polynesien und produzierte
spektakuläre Über- und Unterwassersequenzen, die von National Geogaphic TV,
Dicovery Channel und diversen anderen renommierten Sendern weltweit mit offenen
Armen angenommen wurden.
Einige Highlights seiner bisherigen Karriere bilden die Zusammenarbeit mit Christian
Petron (Haus-Filmer für den Kultregisseur Luc Besson, u.A. „Die Tiefe“, „Atlantis“), der
prämierte Film „Sharks of Rangiroa, from Legend to Reality“ – ein Manifest gegen die
Hai-Fischerei in der Südsee, das tatsächlich ein gesetzliches Fangverbot nach sich zog
– oder etwa eine Sequenz, die nicht nur die Mating-Tänze von Mantarochen, sondern
erstmals in freier Wildbahn auch die Paarung der „fliegenden Teppiche“ eingefangen
hat.

Gemessen an seiner Liebe zu Mantas und Haien – soviel lässt sich wohl schon vorab
sagen – hat sich Peter Schneider mit Yap sicher für die richtige Destination
entschieden.

Der Tauchlehrer und Video-Instructor wird im Rahmen seines neuen Engagements
nicht nur unseren fotografierenden und filmenden Gästen mit Rat und Tat beiseite
stehen und für alle anderen auf Wunsch Erinnerungsvideos produzieren.

Bill Acker, Jan Sledsens und Team freuen sich jetzt schon auf spannende
Unterwasserfilme, die spätestens ab unserem Foto- und Filmwettbewerb Manta Fest
(4.-14. September, mantafest.com) allabendlich über die Großleinwand unseres
Restaurantschiffs Mnuw flimmern werden.
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Weitere Informationen:
www.mantaray.com
www.underwatercam.tv
mantavisions@mantaray.com
peter@underwatercam.tv


WWII Memorial to be dedicated on Pacific Island of Yap

WWII Memorial to be dedicated on Pacific Island of Yap

Yap Island, FSM, June 12th, 2010:  The Yap Visitors Bureau (YVB) and the Missing Air Crew Project (MACP) announce the dedication of one of the most unique World War II memorials in the Pacific. The newly constructed site displays the wreckage of a plane flown by Ens. Joseph Cox (from Idaho) and will be dedicated July 27th, symbolizing the tremendous sacrifice and loss of human life near this Pacific Island during WWII. The YVB and MACP have been working together for several years to preserve and remember this very special group of soldiers.

In the historical context of WWII and the Pacific theatre, American losses near Yap (now part of the Federated States of Micronesia) were substantial yet continue to be overlooked even today. Strategically located between the Philippines and Guam, Japanese occupied Yap was targeted almost daily from June of 1944 to August of 1945 at the cost of hundreds of American men, 110 of which remain classified as missing in action (MIA). Pat Ranfranz (from Cameron, WI), founder of the MACP has spent over 20 years researching Yap during WWII and the stories behind each soldier and his mission, hoping to preserve their memories for generations to come. Pat’s uncle is among the soldiers that remain MIA.

The memorial to be dedicated on July 27th displays the actual wreckage of an F6F-5 Hellcat flown by Ens. Joseph Cox, one of 36 planes American planes that fell near the island. Joseph’s plane was shot down with three other Hellcats from the USS Enterprise on September 6, 1944 and was only recently recovered moderately intact. “It is truly one of the most unique wrecks and now memorials in the Pacific,” explains Pat. “After the war, most of the wreckage throughout the world was picked over and removed. Fortunately in this case, the Yapese have respected the wreckages as grave sites and taken care to preserve them and remember the American men who lost their lives during the war.” Joseph’s plane was spared from the expanding Yap landfill in 2008 and relocated to government held land. Displayed on a concrete pad next to an all-weather sign and memorial marker describing the man, the plane, and the mission, the YVB together with the MACP were able to construct one of the finest memorials to American men lost in WWII’s Pacific theatre.

Pat Ranfranz is extremely grateful for the work that has been done to make the memorial come together. “This would not have been possible without the work done by the people of Yap and the Yap Visitors Bureau to save and preserve the American crash sites and wreckages that remained after the war. Too many people have forgotten the men who gave their lives for our freedom during WWII. This memorial and others on Yap Island will help to immortalize the forgotten and bring meaning to their sacrifices.”  Attending the dedication will be Yap Governor Sebastian Anefal, US Ambassador Peter A. Prahar and other dignitaries along with the 90 year old brother of the pilot, Ellis Cox of Idaho.

The memorial dedication, open to the press, will take place from 2-4pm near the Public Works building on the Island of Yap. Please contact the YVB for assistance if your organization would like to attend. Both Pat Ranfranz and representatives from the YVB are available for interviews between now and July (see the contact information at the top of this release). Pat Ranfranz will also be available in Tokyo July 19-20th and Guam July 20th while traveling to Yap. For more information about the memorial dedication and Missing Air Crew Project, visit: https://www.missingaircrew.com or https://www.mantaray.com.

DSC07707Ambassador

Peter A. Prahar, U.S. Ambassador, Federated States of Micronesia standing in front of the Ens. Joseph Cox F6F-5 Hellcat Memorial on Yap Island.
Patrick Ranfranz stands next to the Ens. Joseph Cox F6F-5 Hellcat wreckage after it was saved.

Contact Information:

Patrick Ranfranz
Missing Air Crew Project
Tel: (715) 458-0020
Cell: (612) 282-5624
pat@missingaircrew.com
www.missingaircrew.com

Bill Acker
Manta Ray Bay Resort
Tel: (691)350-2300
Fax: (691)350-4567 or 3841
yapdivers@mantaray.com
www.mantaray.com


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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
William Myers
William Myers
21:01 21 Jul 18
Great hotel. Have stayed twice.
Emily Caquelin
Emily Caquelin
04:10 02 Aug 18
Manta Ray Bay Resort is a great dive resort with extremely hospitable staff.
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
Jonathan Gapith
Jonathan Gapith
10:31 19 Sep 18
Best dive resort around, amazingly friendly staff and great food on the mnuw
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
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
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