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Cruising FSM to Palau

By Sue Richards last modified Nov 20, 2011 09:58 PM

Published: 2011-11-20 21:58:23
Countries: Federated States of Micronesia , Palau (Belau)

Received 16 November 2011
Hello from Chuuk,

We are anchored off the Blue Lagoon Resort in Chuuk Lagoon. We would like to make a correction to this report. Under the heading "Chuuk," subheading Blue Lagoon Resort, it reads that the hotel has a mooring that is available for use by visiting boats. This is false. The mooring is used by the 132 foot live-a-board, dive, boat Odyssey. Not only should the mooring not be used, but vessels should stay well clear of it. The Odyssey often comes in during night hours, so anchor lights are also a good idea.

Thanks for an informative and helpful website.

Donald Bryden
s/v Quetzalcoatl

Posted 10 November 2011
Catamaran "Two Oceans" continued through the FSM to Palau. Here are some points that may be of interest to cruisers in that area.

FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA

Kosrae

Rent a car – is available from a DVD store by the main road, ask the locals. Cost us 35$ a day and is imperative if you want to go to the authorities, supermarket etc.

Water – Ace hardware has a big rain-water tank and will sell water for a reasonable price. Jerry-cans will have to be used. It’s a good idea to tie to the ferry dock to do it. Another option, requiring a car, is to fill up jerry-cans at the bottling plant up the hill. It’s free but not close to the dock. Look up Hilton, the immigration officer, whose family owns the plant, for details. They live in a house on shore opposite the anchorage. (It’s the one with the yellow Volleyball net).

Fuel – Mark from the “Tree Lodge” resort arranged the delivery of 55 gallon drums (300$ each) with manual pump to the ferry dock. I believe a minimum of 4 drums is necessary. Maybe a cheaper deal can be had directly with a petrol station. Otherwise, fill up jerry-cans at any station.

Resorts – The “Tree Lodge” and “Nautilus” resorts were good places for eating out. I did two dives with Mark, special price for yachties.

Pohnpei

Approaching from the east you have to give a wide berth as the reef goes a long way out. Entrance is well marked. Call port control on 16 for instructions, those will probably be to tie to the commercial dock, where all the authorities will come to. Port official led us to the yacht anchorage, which had very good holding.

Gas – look up “LP Gas” in town. Other businesses include Ace Hardware and Wall Mart.

Internet - Accessible in port as well as in the yacht anchorage, you have to buy a pre-paid card available in every hotel, like “Oceanview” right by the anchorage. The same system works in all FSM states and you can “transfer” your account between them.

Ant Atoll

Well marked channel zigzagging into the lagoon. Watch out for a shoal at the end of the last leg.

Oroluk We found Pioneer pass at 07 35’620 N 155 09.460 E. Only four people in there right now.

Losap

East entry point at 06 51.812 N 152 42.738 E. West exit point (there are several, this seems to be the northernmost) at 06 52.906 N 152 40.493 E (for entry use same Longitude ended by .426 ). Chief Atarinu Eram will want to check your cruising permit and other papers. Rowdy, noisy kids all around the yacht were a disturbance and also stole a mask and snorkel…

Chuuk

Port – No answer on VHF, we tied at the commercial dock on the south.

Fees - Immigrations – 40$ in and 40$ out. Quarantine – 25$. Port – 75$ on departure. No fee for Customs (tel. 3304482) but all charge overtime outside working hours.

Fuel – Good service from Bruton Enterprises, tel. 3302318, they will send a truck with meter and electrical pump.

Blue Lagoon Resort – (Formerly Intercontinental, or Continental). They have a mooring that we did not check (see correction above), but they say one could use. Food was O.K. Internet by WI-FI or PCs in the reception lobby. Water can be bought in 5 gallon containers that you have to return to their well equipped shop. 10 containers cost 22.5$ and they let us use one of their motorboats to ferry them to our yacht. Main attraction is diving which is relatively very expensive (plus 30$ to the government) but good equipment and special diving.

Pata Island

Trying to anchor near a village in Pata island, locals became unpleasant which made us decide to split.

Puluwat Atoll

Easy entrance, good anchorage on sand near south part of village. Inner lagoon possible by dinghy. Deputy chief took a fee of 25$, a custom that you see all over now.

Lamotrek Atoll

Northeast pass is very wide with good depth (if memory serves right not less than 9 meters). Very nice traditional village. Chief Ernest charged 5$ fee. Exiting we tried the southeast pass at 07 28'48 N 146 21'357 E according my GPS and found minimum depth 4.5 meters.

Olimarao

Uninhabited and quite nice. We entered at 07 40'666 N 145 52'469 E with minimum depth of 5 meters and exited at 07 40'671 N 145 52'218 E with 4.5 meters. With care one can pass anywhere between those two.

Woleai Atoll

Beautiful. Chief Fred charged a fee of 10$ per person.

Yap

When entering we were asked by immigrations whether we visited any outer island, and told we should have asked permission beforehand. He treated the matter tolerantly, promised to give me the contact info to the relevant office but forgot. Please use all coordinates with caution!

Dockage at the small boat harbor was 25$ a day and we got one day free. Anchoring there where directed is free of charge. Water and garbage disposal 15$ each. A very good refrigeration technician is called Arbin, tel. 9508600.

PALAU

We tied to the commercial warf for check-in and were sent by the company controling the port (BTT and something) to an office in town to pay for docking. The charge for our 6 tons cat was 36 cents... Then we were asked by them to pay 85.14$ for line handling! I insisted on talking to the manager and probably succeeded in pointing out the absurdity of charging all vessels the same amount regardless of size, since the lady agreed to take "only" 20$ for the 2 minutes it took the security guard to take or bow and stern ropes. Some people think one should simply motor away.

Royal Belau YC is hiding northwest of the commercial harbor and is everything they advertise. Follow the shore in that direction and their bay will come into view. We took a mooring at 07 20.329 N 134 27.139 E. Moorings belong to the RBYC and also some private people. Dermott, who is the manager of RBYC says they will help you contact the right owner and get permission to use one at no cost (as far as I understood).

"Two Oceans" will go on sailing in January from Palau to the Philippines and Thailand.

Miki Barzam
www.catamarantwooceans.wordpress.com

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