Kosrae is an isolated place. Just 7.500 People live on the island and at first sight there is not really a lot to do. If you reduce the pace and look closer, you discover a lot. The same underwater. Almost no pelagics and big fish are rarely seen. The hard coral gardens are really dense though. I haven't seen anything close to that before. There are other sides of the medal. I never have experienced the "over missioning" as extreme as here. Why can't you let the people live the way they have always lived. These Missionaries from our civilised world come, and tell them how to live their life, without even thinking tht their values might have been right. The Mormons build a church for 1.3 Million USD. Probably a better investment would have been decent water supply or solar panels to produce energy. I really liked Kosrae, though. The Island is beautiful and the people are really nice.
Because I really liked Kosrae, I was curious about Pohnpei. I really enjoyed it here. The Island is very green. A lot of Mangroves. I didn't do too much on land, because I spend most of my time under water. I still can't help it, I really love it. The Hotel I stayed in (The Village) has a big part in that. Really nice people. Just the view from the room is worth the money. Diving has its ups and downs. Almost the guarantee to see Mantas is a highlight. Ant Island at the right time is definetely a top place. Other places are okay, and partly really good. Thumbs up in total. What I really hate, is the sellout of the Micronesians to the fishing fleets of the world. This place is loaded with fishing boats. The rumors say they get 1 Million in fishing fees a year and they pull out fish for 200 million. The numbers are not solid, the dimension could be totally right. With this ROI every Investment Banker gets jealous. Sometimes I feel like living in the 15th or 16th century when the great explorers traded glass pearls for real pearls or gold. Nothing changed. The politicians in Pohnpei are either stupid or corrupt. Probably both. How can you give away your resources like that? Every time I pass one of these trawlers I wished we had torpedos on board.
And they do shark finning in big amounts. The Chinese and their stupid soup. 100 Million sharks a year have to die for that. The world does almost nothing against it, because a Hollywood director put the fear in our heads. They live for a couple of hundred million years and in 20 years they are extinct if we carry on like that. Good job.
Travel to Pohnpei and have a look. You never know how long it will be possible. It is still amazing.
It cannot be love at first sight for Chuuk. About 50 persons warned me. Stay home in the evening. Don't go out, and so on and on. Then you arrive and the potholes are so deep, that you can put a car in. Okay, probably a Smart to the middle. The people have a fierce look and the boys are dressed like Tupac and 50 Cent. It is a lot to work out on the first day. When time passes you realize that it is not that serious. Behind the tough outside there are usually nice people and the longer I stayed the more I liked it. I stayed careful, though. Chuuk is the biggest state in the FSM and has the most Outer Islands. This means a lot of languages and a lot of friction in the State itself. This leaves its marks on the people. Chuuk has almost no income besides the few dive tourists. They are obliged to the mercy of the USA and the other states. I never felt that the people from Chuuk are proud to be a "Chuuki". Different in all the other states.
There is hardly a better place on the planet for diving wrecks. No shortage here. 50 absolute marvellous wrecks in a circle of 20 kms. Good viz, hardly current and unique groth of coral. Even after two or three visits you haven't seen the lot. I sometimes missed the respect for the dead. It is a cemetary, and if my Dad would lie down there I would wish that people would keep the memory what really happened in mind. Some divers have definetely a lack of decency.
Usually I tried to escape wreck dives, but this place is really unique. I am very happy that I had the chance to be here.
Yap did a really great job in marketing themselves as "the Manta place". Everybody comes to Yap and wants to see Mantas. There is nothing wrong with that, because they are there. But what else?? I really liked Yap and the combination of Manta Ray Bay and Yap Divers is the best working operation I had, since I left. A big compliment on that. The dive spots are no better than middle class for me. The Mantas moved away from M'il Channel and you hang arround at 6 Meters and the Mantas are at 4. This is more snorkeling than diving. Now they started to feed sharks. This has a kind of desperate attitude to me, to get a second attraction. That I do totally disapprove shark feeding, I already wrote in my diary. I still have to let this sink in, but I leave with mixed emotions.