Manta Fest Awards


All of this photography-game-stepping-up dive partying peaked with the contest awards banquet full of generous prizes. Everyone took home something from the sponsors. Winners were selected in dSLR and non-dSLR divisions with several categories that included big animals, macro, island/culture, night and Mandarinfish. Participants were also allowed to submit a slideshow where judges weighed in the creativity and bulk of work.

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“Best of Show” winner was Sheila Ott with a portrait of a manta ray with several juvenile pilot fish from Goofnuw Channel. Sheila will be booking any week she wants with Dive Damai on a super luxury Indonesia liveaboard adventure.


First place winners in each category received a Mares Icon HD air-integrated dive computer, worth $1,900. Among the other category prizes were Mares puck dive computers, week-long hotel and dive packages at Manta Ray Bay, Henderson wetsuits and Ikelite LED dive lights.

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Honorable mentions were awarded to several photographers for their work that came with Armor gear bags, Pelican cases, Mares and Henderson ware as well as McNet towels and Ikelite lens cloths.

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Participants are familiar with the uniqueness of Yap with such a special mix of people – photographers from all over the world, the local staff, the family who started it all, the Ackers, as well as the presenters mixed it up for two weeks of our best shots with refined party photo game.

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Frank Schneider, Marty Snyderman, Sheil Ott, Bill Acker, Ray Bullion and David Fleetham wind up this year’s awards ceremony and start planning for 2015.



There’s a big thank you that goes out to well-deserving sponsors, if it wasn’t for these businesses, and the people behind them, awesome dive & photo parties on tiny little islands that most people never heard of would not be possible.

These are the industry’s supporters of good times, learning underwater photography and epic dive travel.

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Availability & Reservations

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 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 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 more
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 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
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