Paul and Geri

PAUL J. TZIMOULIS

Paul Tzimoulis is regarded as one of the founding fathers of the recreational diving industry in the USA, as well a significant influence to diving worldwide.  As Publisher and Editor of the world’s largest and best read diving magazine, Skin Diver Magazine, he has had a profound influence on the sport.  He guided every field from equipment development, to training, safety, diving certification, travel and technique.  His provocative editorials, stimulating articles and incredible photographs have done much to elevate the quality of SKIN DIVER Magazine and diving in general.

Paul devoted his entire life to a career in diving.  He began snorkeling and free diving in the fresh water lakes of Connecticut while still a high school teenager.  Tzimoulis purchased his first regulator in 1955 and quickly became a scuba instructor, dive club president, dive shop owner and early commercial diver.

In 1960 Tzimoulis joined U.S. Divers Co, and became Customer Service Manager.  The following year he was employed at Sportsways where he served as a sales rep for the entire eastern United States. 

In 1964 Paul accepted a position at the New York office of Petersen Publishing as Sales Representative for Skin Diver Magazine.  Two years later, Paul became Editor & Publisher of the magazine, relocated to California, eventually becoming Group Publisher and Vice-President.  

Paul was Publisher of Skin Diver Magazine for almost 35 years, generating hundreds of articles and photographs, developing a small obscure publication to a mega powerhouse magazine that became the largest diving magazine in the world.  He lived a lifestyle which most divers can only imagine.  Visiting tropical dive resorts in the Caribbean & Pacific, he was “living the dream.”  Paul was a prolific writer, lecturer, photographer and teacher.  He also co-authored a book on underwater photography entitled Camera Below in 1968.

In 1964, the International Underwater Film Festival held in Santa Monica, California acclaimed Tzimoulis as, “the brightest young meteor on the horizons of diving’s future.”  At this prestigious Film Festival, Tzimoulis was awarded a “Special Tribute” for his documentary filming of the Hannes Keller 1,000-foot deep dive. 

He founded and was Executive Director of the first International Underwater Film Festival held in New York City, held in February 1965.  For the next 30 years, Tzimoulis helped organize similar events in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Boston and Chicago.

After Paul retired from Skin Diver Magazine in 1998, he accepted the position of Publisher of Sport Diver Magazine until 2003.  He was Master of Ceremonies of countless underwater film festivals.  In his free time Paul taught underwater photography, ranging from destinations from Hawaii to Bonaire.  He launched a revolutionary one week u/w photo school based on San Salvador Island, Bahamas.  Graduates of these classes have gone on to become photo professionals, photo instructors, and winners of many u/w photo contests. 

During more than five decades of his contribution to diving, Paul Tzimoulis has received more than 50 awards from the diving industry dating back to 1957:  the Diver Of The Year Award presented by the Boston Sea Rovers (1966);  Honored Photographer from the International Underwater Film Festival (1968);  the NOGI Award For Sports from the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences (1969);  Hall of Fame Undersea Photography Award, Hawaii (1971);  Oceanus AwardOur Future In Depths Arts Award (1977);   Underwater Photographic Society Outstanding Achievement Award (1978);  Sir Turtle Award from the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism (1983);  SSI Platinum Pro 5000 Diver; Reaching Out Award and induction into the DEMA Hall of Fame (1997);  PADI Outstanding Achievement Award (1998);  induction into the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame (2001); and many others.  Paul Tzimoulis & Geri Murphy-Tzimoulis worked together since 1975. 

Paul J. Tzimoulis – 1936-2003

 

GERI MURPHY

Geri began her career as a teenage, sport diver in the late 1960s, diving off the New Jersey coast, exploring and recording images of shipwrecks and sea life. New Jersey wreck diving is a hard way to learn to be a diver, but it set the stage by preparing her for the rest of Geri’s dive career.  By the time Geri was 21 years old, she was an active YMCA and NAUI dive instructor.  She eventually turned her interest to the Caribbean, where she was the first to photograph and document ‘Stingray City’, the name she coined for what is now a world-famous dive site in the Cayman Islands.   

Geri has had an impressive career in Hollywood, working on underwater films.  In 1973, she joined the crew for the production of the theatre release movie Sharks Treasure.  In 1975 she was the underwater Script Supervisor and Safety Diver for Hollywood stars Nick Nolte and Jacqueline Bissett in the award-winning epic The Deep.   In addition to films, she worked on television productions that include Man From Atlantis (Patrick Duffy) and Switch (Robert Wagner).

Geri spent 30 years diving around the world with her husband, Paul Tzimoulis, who was Publisher and Editor of Skin Diver Magazine.  Together they covered such unique activities as shark tagging contests, congregating manta rays, encounters with dolphins, live aboard cruises around the world, shipwreck search and shark feeding. 

Geri is the world’s most published female u/w photojournalist with more than 200 magazine cover shots gracing such magazines as:  Skin Diver, Sport Diver, Aquarium, Texas Flyer, Sub-Aqua, Mundo Sommerso, Peterson’s Photographic and many others.

Geri has written two PADI underwater photography books: Camera Basics & Equipment Care, Macro Photography &  Wide Angle Photography.   She authored hundreds of underwater photography articles, dive resorts, photo & dive equipment products and photo how-to features. 

She has been the recipient of a many awards  for her writing and photography, including:  induction into the NOGI Diving Hall of Fame (2001); the Women Divers Hall of Fame (2001); the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame (2009) and the  SSI Platinum Pro 5000 Diver,  among others. 

Website: www.gerimurphy.net 

 

Bill Acker:

When I began Yap Divers in 1986, there was only one way to attract divers from around the world and that was Skin Diver Magazine.  From the very beginning, we took out a small advertisement to announce that Yap now offered diving.  Then one day I was contacted by the magazine asking if I would be able to show the MAN himself  (Hall of Fame dive pioneer – Mr. Paul Tzimoulis) around Yap.  Thrilled to have this opportunity (in reality Paul and Geri were on a trip to Palau and thought they would spend two nights in Yap on their way back), I immediately accepted and began to prepare for their arrival. The Manta Ray Bay Hotel was not yet even a dream at this time so they stayed at my house where Patricia and I did our best to be good hosts.  I think I can honestly say for all of us, this trip changed our lives.  There are a seemingly never ending stream of stories coming out of this first visit.

Here’s the first.  A bit of background to get us to the airport a little after Noon on this beautiful tropical day.  Several days earlier a very good friend sent me audio tapes of a Best of Rock n Roll countdown from a New Orleans’ radio station.  I had been listening to these tapes every time I drove my truck.  By the time I reached the airport to pick-up Paul and Geri, I was on the number 6 best song – having begun at 100.  There was still The Doors’ Light my Fire and Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven and obviously 4 more to go.  I didn’t say anything but the radio was playing on the drive to town and I asked if they minded the music blaring, which they said they did not.  When we got to the last turn that would take us to the dive shop, I was on song number 4.  I asked them if they minded riding around the lagoon again so that I could finish the countdown and see what this station thought the best Rock n Roll song of all time was.  By now, they were into this a bit and thus agreed.  Well in the final 4 was my two songs but strangely the best Rock n Roll song of all time was one I would have never guessed:  Bill Haley and the Comets’ Rock Around the Clock.

The most important person in the dive travel world, in my truck with his wife and here I ago driving around the lagoon twice to finish something that I had on tape.  Told me the kind of people they were and told them who I was and it has been love ever since.  Sadly Paul is no longer with us but at least we still have Geri.  Visit Yap and I will tell you a few more stories from that first visit.

Availability & Reservations

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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