Marshall Islands - Profile
- The Marshall Islands is made up of 29 atolls, 5 islands and 1,225 islets which form two major islands chains: The eastern Ratak (‘towards dawn’) and the western Ralik (‘towards sunset’) island chain.
- Majuro Atoll is the political, economic and yachting center of the Marshall Islands.
- Ranked the fourth least visited country in the world, the Marshall Islands is perhaps the last frontier of yachting with pristine vibrant ecosystems.
- Over 250 species of reef fish, 180 species of coral, 27 species of marine mammals and all 5 species of turtles can be observed throughout the archipelago. It is also the largest shark sanctuary in the world.
- Traditional sailing canoes are still used for inter-lagoon travels and Ailuk Atoll is known as the “Island of Sails” with many canoes being visibly sailed at any one time.
- Fantastic World War II wreck diving and snorkeling opportunities can be had at Bikini, Wotje, Mili, Jaluit and Maloelap Atolls.
- Nuclear testing at Bikini and Enewetak Atolls from 1946 to 1958 subjected many Marshallese to serious health problems, however, the four affected atolls (Bikini, Enewetak, Utrik and Rongelap) are now safe to visit. Kwajalein continues to be a missile defense test site.
- The majority of yachts which call at the Marshalls arrive from the South Pacific via Samoa, Fiji or Vanuatu.
- See the MBYC website for much useful advice about the islands.
All areas of Majuro are safe to walk around during daylight*, and the great majority of areas are safe after dark. Like most cities, however, there are a few hotspots that are to be avoided late in the evening, all of which are near late night bars.
* Majuro's dogs can occasionally be a nuisance for visitors and if walking is your preferred mode of transport, it's recommended you carry a couple of small rocks to at least pretend to throw at the dogs (who are generally just doing their job of guarding their owner's property).
Travelling in the outer islands:
Cruising the Marshalls' outer islands is extremely safe, with the locals welcoming all visitors.
Last updated April 2014.
The climate is tropical with little variation in temperature throughout the year. The northern atolls receive relatively little rainfall and generally enjoy steady NE trade winds, occasionally interrupted by passing low pressure troughs that bring variable winds for a day or two. The southern atolls fall under the frequent influence of the ITCZ, which brings considerably more cloud cover and precipitation. From December to April, steady NE trade winds are the norm. Tropical storms are rare, the last one to strike Majuro was in 1918. Storm risk increases significantly in El Niño years.
SV Estrellita have some very interesting research on typhoon risk in the RMI on their blog. Go to http://thegiddyupplan.blogspot.com.es/2014/10/typhoons-el-nino-and-republic-of.html
For links to free global weather information, forecast services and extreme weather information see the Noonsite Weather Page.