Federated States of Micronesia: Yap Outer Island Alternatives

Chris and Des of SY Trigger outline some good options for outer island cruising.

Published 10 years ago, updated 1 year ago

The larger outer islands of Yap (Lamotrek and Ifalik) are the usual stopovers for most yachts, but there are also several other excellent anchorages in the smaller atolls.  At the inhabited islands, there is usually a small anchorage fee and custom dictates a gift for the chief. Old sails will be greatly appreciated at all the islands, but Woleai especially has a need for sails.

Generally, the electronic charts are not accurate; we used a combination of radar overlayed with Navionics and GPS connected to Google-earth to identify the entrances and obstacles.

SOROL: (8° 8.019’N 140° 22.092’E)

Sorol is uninhabited with an abandoned small village and school on the largest island. Entrance to the atoll is wide and deep. The C-map chart is not very accurate and Google earth does not have a high-resolution image for Sorol, but the entrance to the atoll is wide and deep and easily identifiable.  The anchorage is well protected from the NE.

OLIMARAO: (7° 40.612’N 145° 52.436’E)

Uninhabited with signs of temporary fishing activities of nearby atolls. The entrance to the lagoon is easily identifiable and straightforward.  Protection from the NE close to the largest island.

ELATO: (7° 29.672’N 146° 9.660’E ….. our favourite.)

We intended to stop at Lamotrek but were “lured” to Elato atoll via VHF  radio. This place is a true gem with an appreciative and generous community. The island is beautiful, the water is clean and the insects are minimal. Elato has just over 100 inhabitants and is usually bypassed because most yachts stop at Lamotrek just 10 miles off. We met with chief John, who doesn’t speak a lot of English, but has a burly presence. We had interesting conversations with easy-going men with a bright sense of humor gathered in the meeting house. On our tour around the island, we met with the women and were inundated with invitations to join them for something to eat and with gifts of beautiful leis and lava-lava. We were touched by receiving such a sincere and warm welcome by all the people down to the pre-school class of seven.

The entrance to the lagoon is easily identifiable and there are buoys inside the lagoon marking two shallow spots. Anchorage is protected from the NE.

Chris & Des

S/Y Trigger

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