Federated States of Micronesia - Profile
- The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) are Kosrae, Pohnpei, Chuuk (formerly Truk) and Yap, stretching over a vast expanse of Pacific Ocean just north of the equator. Geographically, these four small states are part of the Caroline Islands, consisting between them of over 600 islands, of which only 65 are inhabited. Also part of Chuuk state are the isolated Mortlocks, Hall Islands and Western Islands.
- The name "Falalop" means "big island" or "main island" Many atolls in the Outer Islands, like Woleai, have an island which is called Falalop, meaning it is the main island of that atoll.
- For the cruising sailor the Federated States of Micronesia offer a chance to come in contact with a Micronesian society which has managed to preserve most of its traditions despite successive waves of foreign domination. Close links with the United States have brought a higher living standard, but also the social problems of modern life, which the islanders are making an effort to overcome by returning to more traditional way of life. Visiting sailors, coming by sea, with which the islanders have a deep affinity, can be sure of a warm and sincere welcome.
- Facilities vary widely across the Federation, with basic repair facilities in the main centres and very little in the outer islands. There are fisheries plants in several islands and wherever there is a base for fishing boats, one may be able to find at least a modicum of repair facilities. One should carry a good supply of essential spares as the only parts that may be available locally are those used in trucks or heavy plant in use on the islands.
- Provisioning is good in all main centres where there is a selection of imported goods, mainly from the USA, although they tend to be on the expensive side. There are also fresh produce markets and some fresh produce can be found practically everywhere even if the selection is not always great.
- Water sources must be chosen carefully as often the public supply is not drinkable and should be treated. Generally, rain water is more reliable if one has access to a catchment tank, or provision should be made to collect one's own. Rainfall is only abundant in Kosrae and Pohnpei.
- Fuel can be bought in all centres, usually by jerrycan, although some fisheries have pumps or can arrange to have it delivered to the dock by tanker. No fuel is available in the outer islands.
- Propane is usually available in Pohnpei and Chuuk, but not in Kosrae and Yap.
- Cash is required for most transactions here. Only in Chuuk is it possible to obtain money using a credit card.
The islands are under the influence of the NE trade winds, which blow between October and May. January to March is the dry season, while rainfall can be heavy in the summer months. The SW monsoon lasts from June to September, when there are frequent periods of calm. Strong SW gales can occur during August and September. They appear to be caused by the typhoons which are bred in this region but usually move away from the islands. Occasionally the islands are affected by typhoons. Although typhoons can occur at any time of the year, the period 1 December to 30 April may be regarded as relatively safe. In some years, the typhoon season may start early, or last longer than usual, so the weather should be watched carefully at all times. Guam has the best forecasts for the area. (Thanks to Ashley Thorington-Shippey for this great photo taken from Chuuk).
Federated States of Micronesia Weather Forecast
The Pacific Region of the National Weather Service administers forecasts for FSM.
For links to free global weather information, forecast services and extreme weather information see the Noonsite Weather Page
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