Manta Fest – Contestant Media

IMG_7946Things are picking up momentum here as we reach the end of the first week.

Today we had boats going for Mantas, sharks, macro, reef and channel dives.

One of our guests, Sheila, spoke up about wanting to dive with each of the pro’s during the week and today she received her wish – on her boat were three pro’s as well as Bill and Patricia.

She posted a facebook status talking about the ratio of pros to divers on her boat, the ratio was one-to-one for three tanks.

The conditions keep getting better, the chatter in the dive shop was about the water clarity and strong presence of life – everybody came back happy from the Caverns and southern walls, it was stunning this morning.

We drifted to the Caverns along Gilman wall and met Bill’s group at the amphitheater.

We had big fish, schools of fish, avalanches of reef fish parading down the wall and all kinds of cleaning activity at the cavern pinnacles. The reef was bustling today and all but one of our pro’s were at the site filling their SD cards.

So far we’ve learned how to keep our gear in good working order, the use of natural light, how to shoot models, about non DLSR photography and all about Manta Rays. We’re winding up the first week and expecting a full house this weekend and a pumping final week for this year’s Fest.

Guest Media

We have our first submissions from contest participants, Judy Bennett, who’s never missed a Manta Fest who’s also one of last year’s winners, dropped off some of her work to share with you.

Judy Bennett – DSLR


2013_Yap_1841 2013_Yap_1884


 Sheila Ott – Point and Shoot



Manta Fest Education and Media

Today we have two classes and one media presentation. Julie Hartup from Manta Trust is offering up everything she knows about Manta Rays, while pro presenter Ray Bullion is hosting a non-DSLR photography workshop on the Mnuw. Later in the evening Marty Snyderman’s media presentation was on “Sharks in the Wild”.

IMG_0115Julie Hartup

Did you know that a lot of scientific data is gathered by studying Mantas at fish markets around the world?

That’s how little we understand about these creatures.

How long is their gestation period? When do they reach sexual maturity? How often do they mate/breed? What drives their behavior?

These questions are being answered by scientists in the field, like Julie. Manta Trust has researchers all over the world collecting data and reaching out into the diving and fishing community to gather information as fast as they can to lead conservation efforts.

Her life work is dedicated to the protection of these animals with her PhD project throughout Micronesia and the Marianas islands.


IMG_0112Ray Bullion

Point and shoot photography is defined by Ray Bullion as “non DSLR photography”.

Today’s technology packs a lot of features into a palm-sized camera system, and with external strobes a lot can be done with these devices.

Ray is educating guests on features, use of as well as lighting with these smaller photography systems.

This is a photography contest for everybody, there’s small action cameras that will be dropping media and gunning for prizes along with these point and shoot cams.





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
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 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 more
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