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“Great economical diving option”
Review of Beyond the Reef

Beyond the Reef
Reviewed 1 December 2013

We went out them 2 days, divemaster Keonie. He was very good and pointed out some neat stuff, killing the invasive crown of thorns starfish as often as he could. My only reservation was the boat itself, which could use a bit of an upgrade and some maintenance. But all in all, it was very good diving. Yap is a beautifully spectacular place to dive. The people are wonderful.

1  Thank CountessP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 10 May 2013

We chose Beyond the Reef because they promised 4 or fewer divers per boat and a great degree of flexibility in site selection. We were not disappointed! We experienced great Manta dives; always felt safe, and never felt rushed. The dive master was very knowledgable and skilled. The assistant who remained on the boat was friendly and attentive to gear and tank set-up. We did 11 dives with this operation, always got a briefing, always had any questions answered, and really enjoyed the hot chocolate! We were given details and information to help us determine which sites we wanted to dive for the day (we did 3 dives a day), but we never felt pressured to choose any particular site. Even with rougher boat rides, we felt safe and in good hands. We were especially appreciative for the dusk dive where we saw more mandarine fish than we could have ever imagined possible. Fantastic choice especially if you want to avoid a crowded (or over-crowded) boat!

2  Thank Lisa_and_Larry_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 January 2013

Nice small company running a friendly, professional dive shop. We had a great time. The guides were so patient and made sure we had seen as much as we wanted.

We loved the fact that only a few people came each day. No crowds, very personal and fun.

Highly recommended.

4  Thank RTWTripping
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 April 2012

We decided to go with Beyond the Reef over Manta Ray Bay despite MR being next door based on positive comments online and were happy with our choice. The boats carry a maximum of 4 divers and the week we were there we were the only 2 people on the boat so we got extremely customized service which is awesome. I’d heard that small groups are particularly important on Yap because sometimes you can get stuck on a boat with people who have different feeling about just how often they want to do manta dives but from what we saw Manta Ray was sending out quite a few boats themselves with most of the groups being extremely small as well (including one guy who got a boat to himself the whole week, maybe because he was really annoying, which we discovered later on a land tour with him) but I don’t think that’s normal. That said it’s still going to be better doing the manta dives with smaller groups even if there are other boats at the cleaning station.

The boats themselves are very small with just a pull up canopy which doesn’t always provide lots of shade. The small size can make a trip down south a little rough but it wasn’t too bad. No rinse buckets or anything like that but they did have a nice huge area you could put stuff in to keep it dry. We were comfortable on the boats but it does seem like they might be a little cramped with 4 people. They were valet style and set up our gear and took care of everything except our wetsuits. They had plenty of drinking water and hot chocolate on the boat as well as snacks in the form of fruit, bread, or cookies.

We set up our diving through Okeefe’s and they told us nitrox was free and we asked to have nitrox through them but that never happened. We never mentioned it to BTR since it said nitrox cost extra on their price sheet, and it wasn’t really necessary when you were only doing two dives and one of them was the shallow manta dive, but it would’ve been nice when we went down south.

The dive briefings weren’t the greatest and left out important things like signals and sometimes didn’t even tell us whether or not we were diving live boat or coming back to the same mooring. That said, I wasn’t really happy with the briefings we received on Palau or Chuuk either.

What made BTR a great dive operation was the staff, they were both very friendly, fun to talk to, and really seemed to want to make it a good experience for us. I always felt safe, and they were both good guides who did the dives at a nice slow pace how I like it. They had two people acting as captain or divemaster so that one person could stay on the boat like you’re supposed to when people are diving, which isn’t always the case on small boats (I’m looking at you Grand Cayman).

We obviously had plenty of control over which dive sites we dove but we let them suggest the sites most of the time. The reef sites near the mantas were subpar for Micronesia although Vertigo was great for seeing lots of sharks (and the captain drove the boat around in circles and reved the engine a lot to attract them). The southern reefs are much better, and in particular lionfish wall was amazing, it was better than most of our dives in Palau or Chuuk and was particularly good for photography because there was lots of good backgrounds for pictures (for example I got some nice firefish pictures with a field of pom-pom coral behind them instead of the rubble I have in all my other firefish pictures).

If you like dive operators with small groups this is the obvious choice in Yap. I wanted to give them a 5 but it was hard for me to get past the first reef dive when my wife was worried and trying to signal half a tank to the divemaster so we could turn around because the briefing didn’t mention that we were doing a live boat dive.

4  Thank ScubaBucky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 19 April 2012

We have recently returned form a trip to Yap and I have to say Beyond the Reef certainly made it a memorable one!
Our dive guide Keoni knew the dive sites like the back of his hand and always gave us his best on every dive. BTR are a realitively small setup and only take out small groups (maximum of 4 divers/snorkelers on a dive, they always ask what you wanted out of the dive and then made sure you got exactly that!!
We stayed at the beautiful O'Keefe's Waterfront Inn and, sitting on the balcony next door to the faceless Manta Bay hotel it was wonderful to watch dive boats from Yap divers with 10+ people onbard going out safe in the knowledge that our trips would be limited to four people (although it was usuall just my partner and me).
Mantas were in abundance and we were usually surfacing from our first dive with these beatiful creatures just as other dive boats were arriving.
I have many happy memories of Yap and the fantastic sea life. If you want good diving with a local professinal team then look no further than Beyond the Reef!!

4  Thank MaddieJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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