The following is a report on the progress of the S/V Mnuw (Yapese for Sea Hawk), a South Seas schooner being turned into a restaurant and bar by Bill Acker of Yap's Manta Ray Bay Hotel. Check out our home page for updates on ''the single biggest event to happen to Micronesian tourism in many years.''
Captain Ramli and crew recently moved the S/V Mnuw from Sumbawa Besar to Surabaya. We have gone from a gorgeous, sleepy backwater lagoon to one of the world's most bustling seaports. Surabaya will be our home until we depart for Yap on the 31st of August.
Captain Ramli and daughters in Sumbawa Bessar, (June 2001)
In Surabaya, Mr. Jimmy Blee and his team of skilled boat builders will be installing the mizzen mast, the stainless steel rigging, all doors and windows, building interior furniture and over seeing the installation of the galley.
My good buddy Jimmy, did an excellent job of pulling together 40 odd crafts-men, 3 or 4 chiefs, the local government officials and over 100 tons of precious tropical hardwoods in order to complete Phase One on time. The Mnuw departed Sumbawa Besar at 1 AM on the 7th of July. She pulled into Celekan Bawang Harbor in North Bali to pick up Jimmy at 4 PM on the 9th and departed at 5:30 PM the same day. She arrived in Surabaya at 12:15 PM on the 11th. (A bit of a hint for those of you who are going to enter our web site promotion by guessing the time it will take from Surabaya to Yap.)
View from the bow. In this picture, you can see the restaurant, the Nautical Weaver Bar, what will be the Crow's Nest Bar and one of the sun-decks which will also double as a dancing stage for cultural shows and other on-board entertainment
Mnuw is currently docked outside the shipyard in Gresik Harbour awaiting her turn in the dry dock, which is now scheduled for July 25th. During the dry dock, she will be cleaned, her hull repaired and painted and a team from Australia, led by Mr. Rob Camarda of WA Shipwrighting, will be on hand to completely sheath the underwater portion of the hull in copper plate. Not only will this make her look better but it will protect the valuable timber from marine boring worms for years and years to come.
As Mnuw is waiting on the dry dock, another team of craftsmen are on board in-stalling the stainless steel floors and walls for the galley along with stainless steel pans which will sit under all of the public toilet areas and behind the bar. The mizzenmast has been installed and a 2nd team of workers are now changing all the old steel rigging and installing new stainless rigging.
Part of the crew of skilled craftsmen working on the teak deck railings in front of the wheelhouse. Under the watchful eye of Captain Ramli, these men have done an amazing job of turning an old cargo ship into a very smart looking yacht.
While Mnuw is being worked on in Indonesia, the Manta Ray Bay is also being readied for the ship's arrival in Yap. Here is a shot of the dock area and part of the room expansion. The stern of Mnuw will be moored close enough to this new land fill to allow our guests to walk on and off her via a covered walkway. The ship will be easily accessible to wheelchair customers as well as anyone needing a bit of assistance in walking. Hotel guests will have a private door leading directly from the hotel to the ship's entrance while our other guests will enter directly from the parking lot.
We invite everyone to follow along as we continue the refit of the former M/V Bunga Berkat Usaha and transform her into the S/V Mnuw (Sea Hawk). Regular progress reports will appear on our web site and when we actually depart Surabaya for Yap, a daily live update will be posted to the site by our web master, Mr. Patrik Nilsson of Stockholm, Sweden who will be onboard with us.
In addition to these updates, we will be sponsoring a contest, offering a one-week stay at the Manta Ray Bay Hotel & Yap Divers. To win, you need to predict the time it will take us to sail from Surabaya to Yap. Please visit our web site for full details.
Mnuw is due in Yap between the 15th and 17th of September and we are inviting anyone interested in seeing her to join us after the 22nd of September. It will take us some time to connect her to the is-land utility grid as well as clean her from the 2,100 mile voyage. If you are interested in visiting Yap, seeing Mnuw and diving our wonderful reefs, please contact your favorite travel agent, dive wholesaler or Bill Acker.
Chef Munn is busy creating an expanded menu, the dive shop guys are getting ready to add a 6th boat to the fleet, that boat is currently in Surabaya and will ride to Yap with us on Mnuw and the hotel staff are preparing for the 8 new rooms.
All in all, it is an exiting time to be in Yap. Bill Acker, his family and the fine staff at the Manta Ray Bay Hotel & Yap Divers, are here to welcome you and ensure that your well earned holidays go smoothly. Good things are happening here at the hotel and on Yap as a whole. Don't you wish you were here?
Bill Acker & Family
Manta Ray Bay Hotel & Yap Divers