Pohnpei Trip Report - October 2007
After we left the Truk Odyssey on Sunday the 30th of October, we spent the day at the Blue Lagoon Resort in Chuuk. A torrential downpour greeted us AGAIN upon our arrival! What is it about our Odyssey departures that bring rain, rain & more rain? Anyway, after the downpour it cleared up beautifully and we were able to spend the day enjoying the resort scenery and World War II memorials displayed at the Resort. Our late evening flight from Chuuk to Pohnpei went smoothly….it’s just a short hop on Continental’s island hopper, about one hour in length.
Our middle of the night arrival at The Village in Pohnpei was something like “finding our rooms in the pitch darkness in the middle of the jungle”! The rooms are individually constructed cottages built on stilts in the middle of a fabulous forest. They are screened in with fans & water beds with delicate mosquito netting surroundings all beds. Fresh, drinkable water is available in all rooms and the views from each room are amazing. Singing birds, tropical flowers and beautiful ocean views greet you in the morning, and a short walk through the forest brings you to the “Main Lodge” which includes the bar, restaurant, reception desk and dive gear storage area.
Meals can be purchased ala carte or on a meal plan. We opted for the full meal plan and it is truly a wonderful value. Orders are placed directly from their varied menu and one of my favorite breakfast items was “Pohnpei Pancakes” which are yummy pancakes covered in local tropical fruits. Since we were there mainly to dive, we placed our lunch orders at breakfast and lunch was served on the dive boats during surface intervals. Sandwiches, fruit and water or soft drinks were the usual fare but they also offered an interesting “local” sandwich served cooked in a banana leaf with meat, vegetables & rice which was quite good. Dinner was again off the menu and the choices were varied and well presented. Everyone took advantage of their local sashimi appetizers and several times folks ordered it again for dinner, it was so good! The dessert highlight was Bananas Foster prepared tableside….entertaining to watch being prepared, gorgeous to look at and scrumptious to enjoy.
Getting to the dive boats can be interesting…it’s all downhill from the Resort! They loaded gear in the back of pick-up trucks, cameras went in the trucks also and you walked down the hill, unless you need a ride for reasons related to physical ability. The dive boats are fiberglass panga-type boats with small sunshades in the middle. Dual outboard engines got us quickly to the dive sites. Water was always available on the dive boats and lunches and soft drinks were kept in big coolers also.
Dive sites ranges from 10-40 minutes from the dock. The closest dive site proved to be our favorite….”Manta Channel” says it all! We all did several dives there, encountering from one to half a dozen big manta cruising in the channel and being cleaned. We even did a surface interval there between dives which featured feeding manta right beneath the surface doing barrel rolls in front of us snorkeling! The other dive sites offered walls with hard and some soft corals and the usual “tropical” fish & critters. One of the dives featured a school of juvenile reef sharks out in the distance numbering in the dozens. We did three days of diving here and then spent our last day on an all-day boat trip snorkeling, cruising the various islands that make up the districts of Pohnpei, and then visiting their ancient ruins called Nan Madol. The final stop on our day trip was to the Kepirohi Waterfall where we walked a narrow path through tropical vegetation to get to the fantastic waterfall. We all jumped in and swam in the beautiful waters…it was at least 75 feet tall and equally wide and since we’d had several hours of torrential downpour during the night before, was a fantastic experience…the “faucets” were flowing full blast!
Pohnpei rivals the Hawaiian Island of Kauai for rainfall…both have in excess of 400 inches of rain per year so you can imagine the beauty of this island as well. We had some brief showers during the daytime but the bulk of the rain fell that one night….
The staff at the Village was friendly,helpful & efficient. The dive guides were very knowledgable about tides, currents & their dive sites. The resort is situated out on a peninsula about 30 minutes from the town. They do offer a shuttle into town from the Resort. For us, five nights with a few days diving and our day trip were the perfect amount of time to finish up our Micronesian adventure. Pohnpei/The Village are well worth a stop when you plan YOUR Micronesian holiday.