Manta Fest Kick Off

IMG_0046The resort is hopping with energy and full of new faces, repeat guests and this year’s pro presenters.

For the next two weeks you can ride shotgun with me and my Canon and look inside this year’s Manta Fest in and out of the water.

Things started off at the bar with a welcome cocktail and meet the managers meeting where Bill introduces himself and some of the folks behind the hospitality.

IMG_0047Manta Fest comes complete with a full itinerary of diving, education, entertainment, activities and tours.

Throughout the week the pros are offering classes, workshops, one-on-one training as well as evening presentations of their work with more photo tips and information.

One of the big deals here is that the contestants have virtually unlimited access to some of the best shooters in the world who are here to help you become a better photographer.

Your Hosts and Pros

From left to right is David Fleetham, Numie and Bill Acker, Tim Rock, Marty Snyderman and Frank Schneider, this year’s Manta Fest party hosts and pros.


IMG_0056Perfect weather kicked off the first official day of the diving.

Contestants can dive up to 5 times a day and will be entering up to 3 images for each photo category.

  • Big animals
  • Macro
  • Reef scenic
  • Land / Culture

So far, DSLR and point-and-shoot classes are the only ones – video and smartphones have yet to make the roster.


In the water

IMG_7269 The lagoon was so glassy that the boat captain couldn’t see the reef in front of us and it actually slowed down our ride to our first site.

Today’s dive boat was with Tim Rock and his model as well as Judy Bennet, at her annual appearance – Judy’s never missed a Manta Fest, she made her reservation for 2014 on Sunday, the morning after she arrived.

Note to self… reserve your room for next year, now.


IMG_7279 Ever wonder where those pictures come from with the model that never exhales in hot pink 1980’s gear? Probably Tim’s hard drive.

Tim has been shooting Micronesia since people have been shooting Micronesia… he’s one of the originals here.

Today we got to watch him work and see where those magazine pictures come from.


Pro Support

IMG_0058Another benefit that the pros bring is on-site technical expertise.

Tim is also a rep for Aquatica and performed surgery on Judy’s 7-year old Nikon housing right there in the dive shop.

He’s also testing an unreleased D7100 housing this week, which Judy is upgrading to – so she’s getting to test drive some of the latest equipment at this year’s party.

Whatever you want to get it on is happening; from drinks in the pool, shooting models in the lagoon, developing RAWs at the bar and gear talk in the shop. The poolside game is strong during Manta Fest as well.



Kicking off the classes is Marty with a gear prep and maintenance workshop.

He’s made his life’s work underwater photography and has yet to flood a camera – tonight he’s sharing his secrets to success in the conference room.

We’re getting the inside scoop on how photography equipment dies, from flooded housings, to cut synch cords and dead strobes – and how to avoid this in our photography future.

Pro Media


Each night one of the pros presents their work on the Mnuw.

Marty kicked off with a dinner lecture explaining how he gets the best images.

This covered everything from shutter speeds to composition, lighting and knowing your wildlife.

The third deck of the restaurant is full, cocktails poured and dinner being served with one of the foremost professional wildlife photographers there is, handing down his experience.


Get on it

This is a good time to be here with or without Manta Fest – the whole island dive map is open and we have calm seas.

When you book during Manta Fest, you get the same diving, plus a guaranteed great international crowd and some of the hottest photography information going by the best in the business.



Availability & Reservations

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 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 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 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
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