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News from Manta Ray Bay Resort - Wishing on a Star

News from Manta Ray Bay Resort

Wishing on a Star

Greetings from Bill at Manta Ray Bay Resort on Yap, 

Hope all is well with you, your family, friends, and dive buddies. As for conquering the Covid-19 pandemic, the US is heading in the right direction, Europe seems to be getting things under control as well, while here on Yap we have about 40% of the population fully vaccinated. FSM president has set a 70% vaccination rate before stranded FSM citizens would be repatriated, however last week the first batch of stranded citizens were repatriated to Pohnpei. Although this by itself is a good sign, we do not anticipate reopening until early 2022.
 
With that knowledge I must announce that that MantaFest 2021 program is officially canceled. There is no way, in my opinion, that both the FSM Government and the Yap State Government are going to agree to open the borders anytime soon and even if they open, there will undoubtedly be all sorts of restrictions placed on arrivals that no one can affectively come for a vacation. 

This breaks my heart as I miss everyone, and I miss the diving. Who could ever believe that I have been unable to travel and there is no end in sight? It is an extraordinary situation that I am still not used to. Every morning, instead of going to the resort and diving with our friends from all around the world, I am checking the news hoping that the end of the tunnel will be insight soon. There is light, but no green light yet and that is very frustrating. I’m very sorry having to email this message, but it wouldn’t be responsible and fair towards you to give you hope that we could all be together for MantaFest this year. Even the changed dates in October are just not realistic anymore. It is sad but that is the reality we are forced to deal with.
 
Please keep following my blog. I hope you are enjoying reading the updates from our beautiful island as I certainly enjoy updating you. I am very much looking forward to the day I write the blog with the headline “Yes, we’re open again”.

Although our reopening date is unknown, please have a look at our “Grand Re-opening Specials”. As a MantaFest participant in 2022, you can benefit from our “Get 3 Extra Nights for Free” offer when booking our 7, 11 or 14-night MantaFest package.
 
Finally, please help us spread the word that Manta Ray Bay Resort & Yap Divers IS the dive resort to visit once things are back to normal again. Cast your vote in the Scuba Diving magazine’s World's Best Diving Resorts & Liveaboards Reader's Awards by following this link 
 
Friends, adopted family and buddies, please stay safe and healthy! My family and I, as well as our staff, cannot wait to have you as our guests again. 
 
All the best,
 
Bill, family & staff


                                                                                    

Occidental Cozumel All-Inclusive Summer Deal

Occidental Cozumel 

All-Inclusive Summer Deal

Must Book by July 15, 2021


Get our package deal at the Occidental Grande Cozumel Resort. All-inclusive at the Occidental means Deluxe room accommodations, all meals, ALL beverages (including alcoholic), and a dive package provided by Pro Dive. Dive package includes 5 dive days with 2-tank boat dives each day.

Must book by July 15, 2021- Valid for travel August and September 2021


Diver rate $1070 per person double occupancy  -  Non-diver rate $595
Single diver rate $1378 -  Single non-diver rate  $903

          


                                                                         

Damai I Liveaboard - Raja Ampat & Cenderawasih Bay - June 30-July 12, 2023

Damai I Liveaboard

Raja Ampat & Cenderawasih Bay

June 30-July 12, 2023

$500 Agent Discount 

Featuring U/W Photography Pro Brandi Mueller 


* *  6 Cabins Available  * *

The ship has seven staterooms with a choice of single cabins, twins, doubles or two spacious master cabins. All cabins are furnished with either queen or king-sized beds, and ensuite toilets with showers. The ship has been designed with three large deck areas for relaxing in both the sun or shade and for enjoying relaxing massage and spa treatments. Specifically designed for divers, the vessel offers large dive stations with individual rinse tanks and a camera room with separate camera work stations. Damai offers three local dive guides and one Instructor on board throughout your trip. With only twelve guests, this is a good 4:1 guest to dive guide ratio. The ship has two custom-designed high-speed tenders to get all guests to dive sites comfortably. The signature service includes personalized dive station and rinse tank, camera room and storage space for equipment, ala-carte dining catering to all food requirements, laundry and massage service on board, and the ship has an 18-member crew.

 

 This trip will be featuring underwater photography pro Brandi Mueller to offer photo tips and sessions between dives. Bring your camera and be ready to shoot and learn..!


  


This trip departs Sorong and disembarks in Nabire. Start your trip in Raja Ampat, center of marine biodiversity in the world. Pass through Mapia, which sits closeby to a military base and contains underwater world that is pristine and untouched; no fisherman or tourism. Finish the trip in Cenderawasih Bay, famous for its resident population of whalesharks but there is also WWII history, beautiful reefs and endemic fish.


This 13 day, 12 night adventure embarks at Sorong and disembarks at Nabire, and includes stateroom accommodation, 3 meals a day, complimentary wine with dinner, nitrox for certified divers, unlimited diving with the dive day built around four daily dives, laundry service, airport transfers.


Cost: Stateroom Cabin - $5,550 per person double occupancy including taxes and a $500 DISCOUNT

FULL TRIP ITINERARY

Day 1: Arrive Sorong

Guests will arrive in Sorong and have time to get comfortable on the boat. Damai will travel west to Matan for a check out dive.

No. of Dives: 1

 

Day 2: Penemu

The signature sites in Penemu are Barracuda Point; a seamount on the north point; Melissa's Garden; a beautiful example of a hard-coral plateau and Keruo Channel; drift along this colorful slope watching the seascape go by. The highlight of Penemu is a lagoon tour in the tenderboats amongst these turquoise waters and limestone bays. For the energetic there is a short walk to the top of one the hills to be rewarded with an amazing view over the lagoon with Damai moored in the distance. Long Crossing to Farondi.

No. of Dives: 4

 

Day 3: Manta Sandy & Arborek

Manta Sandy is a signature site for experiencing the grace of Reef Mantas. They are frequent visitors to the cleaning stations dotted along this sandy channel. Feel free to explore the sand for small critters while you are waiting for an appearance. Arborek Jetty is part of a sloping reef in front of the island. There are schools of fish, excellent wide-angle photo opportunities under the jetty itself and good critter hunting to be done along the slopes. In the late afternoon take a stroll around the village on the island and maybe join in one of their soccer matches or buy a locally made sunhat.

No. of Dives: 4

 

Day 4: Kri & Dampier Straits

At the eastern end of the famous Dampier Strait there are many signature dive sites. Cape Kri is a sloping reef on the eastern end on the island of Kri; Blue Magic and Sardine reef are seamounts covered in schooling fish and cruising sharks and rays; Mioskon is a great spot for the endemic Wobbegong shark and Pontohi pygmy seahorses.

No. of Dives: 4

 

Day 5: Pulau Dua

Half-way between Raja Ampat and Cenderawasih bay we will make a stop in these small islands where remains of second world war were thrown into the sea making a small, but superb reefs where life concentrates in large numbers. Big school of yellow grunt, large napoleon fish or barramundis find shelter. In the evening, if the conditions so consider, we will go to the beach to see the leatherback turtle nesting.

No. of Dives: 2 or 3


Day 6 and 7: Mapia

The last atoll in Indonesian waters, very close to the border with Palau, too remote for fisherman to go, and protected by a small navy post. The combination of all these factors mean only one thing: superb diving: pristine waters, hard corals and drop offs and a tremendous amount of fish. Rare opportunity to see reefs in the way they were many years ago, and a delight to all our senses.

No. of Dives: 3 or 4

 

Day 8: Pulau Manim

Manim is home to calm waters and 7 sunken landing craft left behind after WWII. These are in a variety of depths from 5 to 25m and are covered in a variety of hard and soft corals.

No. of Dives: 4

 

Day 9: Outer Atolls

The outer atolls of Cenderawasih Bay are some of fishiest sites of the area, located inside the National Park. Wild Fish Ridge and Spag point are two paricular favourites. It is here that we can view so many of the endemic species that led this to be called the Galapogas of the East.

No. of Dives: 4

 

Day 10: Tanjung Manguar / Pulau Nusir

Tanjung Mangguar is an extensive dive site with a wall on one side and a plateau of hard corals on the other. There are some magnificant sponges and lots of plump softcorals to add some colour to the reef. This is a good chance to see some of the endemic fish species and there is a school of resident black fin barracuda.

No. of Dives: 4

 

Day 11 and 12: Teluk Wororomi

This is the Whale Shark bay and the local fishing platforms attract many of the ocean's largest fish. After local reporting is complete divers will be offered an open dive-deck so that they may spend as much time as possible in the water with these amazing creatures. The Whale Sharks here are a resident population of pre-adolescents, mainly males, who are come to the platforms to feed on the small bait fish that sit in the nets that hang beneath. They are apparently unconcerned by divers and tirelessly circle back again and again to feed upon morsels of fish hand fed to them by the fishermen who regard them as good luck.

No. of Dives: Unlimited dives / snorkelling

 

Day 13: Departure

Guests will be escorted to the airport in Nabire and assisted with check in procedures, no doubt full of talk about the wonders of the most popular dive destination in the world.


    

Misool Eco Resort - Reflections from a Remote Island

Misool Eco Resort, Raja Ampat, Indonesia
Reflections from a Remote Island



Our little island has been a source of hope in the dark for so many. Throughout countless challenges, Misool has thrived, proving that sustainable tourism can protect the environment as well as the small coastal communities that depend upon these reefs. Survival against the odds is written into our DNA.

The Covid 19 crisis has developed at breakneck speed, and we’ve all had to adapt, fast. On 17 March, the mayor of Sorong issued a statement instructing Garuda Indonesia (as well as four other domestic airlines) to stop issuing tickets to foreigners traveling to Sorong until further notice. On the same day, the Jakarta Post reported that Indonesia would suspend its visa-free policy as of 20 March for one month. Sadly, we were forced to temporarily close the doors at Misool Resort. However, with a team of 250 full time employees, many of whom are supporting extended families on their wages, things cannot stop.