Manta Ray Bay Dive Resort & Spa
Book YAP by August 31st and receive a Free SeaLife HD digital underwater video camera with your reservation!
Book Yap & Palau: Because spending two weeks in paradise is a great idea and it’s a long way to go for just one week. Save 10% on your second week.
July 8th to the 15th, 2017 Kids Sea Camp week.
A week in Yap 7 nights ocean view rooms, 3 divers per day, all meals
Yap is one of the Federated States of Micronesia, but can be almost impossible to find on some information sources. It encompasses a cluster of tiny islands that stretch for 600 miles in the vast Pacific Ocean. Yap proper, a group of four main islands within a barrier reef, is approximately 500 miles southwest of Guam, 300 miles northeast of Palau, and 800 miles due east of Cebu, Philippines. The other islands that comprise the state of Yap extend eastward toward Chuuk, with one atoll about 80 miles to the south. Yap lies just nine degrees north of the equator. I travel from Charlotte, NC to Yap, and that means flying to Los Angeles (LAX), overnighting, and then on to Honolulu (HNL), to Guam, to Palau (ROR) then to Yap — WOW! That’s what I said.
Remember, though, my rule of thumb is that (I will never put anyone through something I’m not willing to do myself,) especially when traveling with kids. -THIS WAS SOOOOOO WORTH IT!
Manta Ray Bay is a perfect addition to our Palau Kids Sea Camp Family vacation. Our family dive adventures will include Yap this year on our way from Palau. We will depart from Palau on July 11 and arrive in Yap on the same day, staying 7 nights at Manta Ray Bay, with 6 days of diving. We have scheduled daily activities from Sunday through Friday and a family island tour on Saturday before heading to Fiji on July 25th. Manta Ray Bay Resort is the premiere dedicated dive resort on the island of Yap, designed by divers and built for divers. All of the dive facilities are conveniently located on property. Also offered are, kayaking and a full range of island nature tours specifically designed to showcase Yap’s unique indigenous culture.
Arriving in Yap
Yap has one terminal, where you will step off the plane descending down a stairway onto the tarmac below. There, you are greeted by Yapese women (or sometimes men) in their full native dress. The Yapese still wear their traditional clothing around the island, with women in traditional dress, which does not include their top half being fully covered. I have not found this to be taken in an offensive or inappropriate way by any visitor or family. The women have beautiful flowered covered leis that are draped over their neck, shoulders and chest; they are a very humble and modest people. As you walk through the customs area, you are welcomed with a smile and adorned with a handmade flower tiara or lei that is placed on your head or around your neck before heading to the Manta Ray Bay Dive Resort.
Upon arrival, our rooms are ready and waiting for us. There is no lifting luggage as it’s all been taken care of for us by the staff. The beds are comfortable and the rooms are themed with underwater scenes of mantas, sharks, and other marine creatures. Manta Ray Bay Resort has standard island view rooms, ocean view rooms, and deluxe ocean view rooms. I personally stay in an ocean view or deluxe room because, “let’s face it, you didn’t travel this far not to see a million dollar view.” There is not much of a price difference, but the difference in ambiance is huge.
Keeping right in line with the places I choose for families, Manta Ray Bay is family owned, family run, and family focused. Hall of Fame diver and owner, Bill Acker is a father, husband, and a family man. He has created a beautiful slice of paradise with his family and effortlessly shares that with each and every guest.
The resort staff is professional and extremely knowledgeable. They only want one thing from you each day and that is to see the smile on your face that says they have pleased you. Each time you are greeted, or served by the Yapese staff, they do so in a manner that is very proud, yet humble, as if they were representing their entire people to you.
The spa is incredibly relaxing and well worth the experience of refreshing yourself after the long journey. There is also a coffee shop in the lobby that made me not miss Starbucks one bit.
Guests can also enjoy Manta Ray Bay’s very own micro-brewed beer, which is brewed right on the property. The Manta Ray Bistro, the island’s finest restaurant with a great view of the lagoon, is located on the main deck of the SV Mnuw, a turn–of–the–century South Seas schooner that you will dine on. Breakfast is served on the main deck, lunch on the middle deck and dinner up at the Crow’s Nest, where I gazed at the daily sunsets with a tropical drink. Kids will enjoy the firing of the real canons off the main deck at 4 pm. Stand back, they are very loud.
The infinity pool with a waterfall slide and some coconut smoothies serve to entertain the kids each afternoon, along with fishing off the dock with the local kids. The dive operation and the diving are superb: I love the small (no crowds) feel of the boats. They are fast and can get to some pretty awesome dive sites not easily reached with larger boats.
Other excursions included: A trip to a local village, snorkeling off beautiful beaches, a traditional canoe ride, a cultural journey full of history at the Stone Money Bank and even tours of some of the WWI relics.
Culinary Arts & Local food harvesting skills: Harvesting swamp taro, tapioca and land taro with Richard and Jessica.
Local fishing pole making and fishing: This involves a jungle hike to get the bamboo poles for fishing and learning the art of local rope making to go with the poles as well as local lure making.
Kayak tour: At O’keefe Island in the morning and a seminar on O’Keefe’s history, Tour the island and see the remnants of O’Keefe’s existence in Yap then learning more of his history with photos by Don Evans.
Bamboo raft building: A day spent building bamboo rafts the Yapese way which the kids can use throughout the week for swimming.
Treasure hunt: kids are given a study guide the night before this activity to familiarize themselves of the different items they will have to look for during the hunt, which will pertain to the history of Yap and it’s culture.
Morning land tour: The whole group and a day at the beach with lunch.
Evening Presentations Manta Awareness – done on the big screen with Bill Acker
Womens’ Roles in Yap’s Society with Leona Tamag who is the Director of the Women’s Interest Office
Underwater Photo Seminar: Brad Holland
Traditional Attire Seminar: Representative of Yap’s Historical Officeand Yap’s Women’s Association
Evening of local folklore reading
Live musical entertainment; our house band Tim & Tim
Ongoing Activities at the resort
Basket weaving and lei making – these will take place every day between the hours of 3pm to 4pm at the dive shop koyengs (huts)
Local stick dance class – this will take place every day from 5pm to 6pm with Callista and Helen
Manta Ray Bay Resort: http://www.mantaray.com/index.php
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