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By No owner — last modified Mar 21, 2016 03:11 PM

 Federated States of Micronesia - Profile

Facts

  • 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.
  • FSM has a population of around 105,000. The official language is English. There are also several local languages spoken including Chuukese, Kosraean, Pohnpeian, Yapese, Ulithian, Woleaian, Nukuoro, and Kapingamarangi.
  • The currency of Micronesia is the United States Dollar. However, some islands such as the Yap Island use other currencies alongside the US dollar. Cash is required for most transactions here. Only in Chuuk is it possible to obtain money using a credit card.
  • Time zones vary in the islands. Chuuk time is UTC +10. Pohnpei Standard Time and Kosrae Standard Time are UTC +11.
  • Micronesia has a warm tropical climate with little change in temperature throughout the year. January to March is the dry season. See weather.
  • 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. See Yachting Essentials for more information.

Security

Overall Crime and Safety:

Crime levels are low. Most crime in the FSM is petty theft motivated by opportunity and impulse. There have been reported incidents of sexual assaults. Visitors should be vigilant, especially when alone.

Unexploded ordinance from World War II remains in some areas. It is dangerous, as well as illegal, to remove “souvenirs” from sunken WWII vessels and aircraft.

For travel advisories, see the following websites:

Specific Areas of Concern:

Crime rates are significantly higher in Chuuk than in the other states.

Maritime Safety:

Some incidents of petty or opportunistic theft, but very few serious crimes against yachts have ever been reported.

Last updated:  March 2019

Weather

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.
http://www.prh.noaa.gov/pohnpei/

For links to free global weather information, forecast services and extreme weather information see the Noonsite Weather Page

Main Ports

svSwiftSure
svSwiftSure says:
Mar 04, 2019 10:09 PM

March 2019. After clearing Kosrae for Pohnpei, we just wanted to post the total fees we paid for arrival and departure in Kosrae. US $50, total. Add a taxi fare to the departure side since you will likely need to go out to the airport for Port Authority clearance, unless you are departing from Okat Bay. All of the officials we encountered in the departure process were very friendly and helpful and gave us tips and advice on our next destination Pohnpei. We asked and they did let their counterparts in Pohnpei know we were on our way. Instant recognition upon arrival, another first for us.

svSwiftSure
svSwiftSure says:
Feb 05, 2019 05:12 AM

January 2019. Our arrival clearance in Kosrae was very easy and all four official agencies were very friendly and professional. Smith telephoned the officials to notify them of our arrival. There are currently no monitored Government VHFs in Kosrae. Clearance was done at Smith's quayside, with all the agencies arriving within a few minutes of each other. Be prepared with adequate copies of all documents including your approved Vessel Entry Permit. Quarantine may wish to inspect your boat.

There has been some confusion in the past with proper documentation prior to arrival in the FSM. There are two official applications that need to be submitted, along with their supporting documents. Both application forms are linked above. The immigration form is straightforward and delineates the supporting documents required.

The Vessel Entry Application (form 5002) is required and will be the basis for your "cruising" permit. What is not stated on the form is the additional information that has been required lately for its approval, which should be sent at time of Application:
Copy of your Crew List
Copies of each crew member's passport photo page
Copy of Your vessel's current documentation
Brief description of your vessel, hull color, type, Gr & Net tonnage
Call Sign etc.

These items we sent as a separate application directly to imhq@mail.fm. Cc everybody including Smith. You may still need to send reminders to get your Approved Vessel Entry, and don't be surprised if you are asked to resend all that stuff again, KEEP it all Ready to Resend.

April Cunningham
April Cunningham says:
Sep 07, 2018 05:28 PM

Glen McConchie says:
Sep 05, 2018 05:09 AM

Glen here a Kiwi who is an offshore sailor but living on the island of Yap for the last 5 years, Just a quick note to tell all that it is VERY IMPORTANT to have a valid cruising permit before entering FSM, here in Yap I have seen several boats be fined $1000 USD each for not having one, even after showing proof of having applied but not received one. If a serious bit of revenue collecting is to be avoided I recommend you get it sorted in advance.

The problem lies with head office in Pohnpei, I was witness to and tried to help a Korean sailor who lost everything he owned on the outer reef here at night after falling asleep and landing on the reef, the boat was a total loss and it still cost him $1000 for not having a cruising permit and a bucket load of other fees on top of that for hitting the reef and getting picked up by the local police, he was lucky that a lot of his good gear was taken from the ship with the pickup but unlucky most of it disappeared and the rest was confiscated. Still a great place to visit just be sure to have all in order BEFORE arrival.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Mar 21, 2016 03:02 PM

Posted on behalf of SY ARIEL IV - Kosrae Updates:

This is the Swedish sailing vessel Ariel IV, out on our second circumnavigation. We did the Northwest passage in 2010 and were cruising in the Pacific the last year, and we now have some good news for all the boats going to Micronesia and especially Kosrae (FSM).

After a long time of both high port fees and confusions we can confirm that yachts now only have to pay 30 dollars for 90 days and then 1 dollar a day after that. No Custom or Immigration fees! There is also a Quarantine fee of 25 dollars.
The port control were very helpful and nice.

There are now two ATM machines that do take VISA cards, and others!

Smith, who is the helpful man at ACE Hardware, has a car that we can use for all purposes.

New fantastic hike can be done down in the village of Tafonsak, ask for the Mayor, pay him 10 dollars per head and ask for Lasarus to take you on a fantastic hike and swim up river and to the waterfalls!

We also stayed one night inside the Otwa anchorage bay and there are two red mooring buoys which are alright in normal weather conditions. Beautiful anchorage and close to the inland mangrove area which you can explore if you have kayaks or SUPs or with a local guide on an outrigger.

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