Friday, April 6, 2012

Kosrae, Micronesia


The biggest banana we've ever had!  It didn't
even fit in Jake's mouth.

We made it to Kosrae in exactly four days, arriving at the harbor at 9:00am.  This was one of our better, more comfortable passages although we did run into quite a few squalls.  When we arrived, we called Marine Services on channel 16 and they arranged for Customs, Immigration, Health and Quarantine to come out to the boat.  We temporarily tied up to the concrete pier and waited in some of the hottest, muggiest weather we’ve seen in a while.  While there was a good amount of paperwork, it all proceeded pretty quickly and we were done in a matter of two hours.  Our first impression was that these were the friendliest people we had ever met on our travels.  The way Andy put it was “they had life!”  So many of the places we go to, the people are either shy because they don’t speak good English, or for whatever reason, they just don’t talk much.  These guys told us where we could go eat, where we could snorkel and dive, and even made a few jokes.  The quarantine guy allowed us to keep our veggies but made us promise to eat them before we get to Pohnpei.  After we finished with them, we untied from the pier and anchored in about 35 feet of pure mud between Ace Hardware and what used to be the church.

If you look close at the landscape you can see the "Sleeping
Lady".  Her head is to the left of Savannah, laying on her back.
Our first day out was eventful.  We had to make our way to Immigration because they forgot to bring the stamp for our passports to the boat.  It was easily a 2-3 mile walk, but we were picked up by a nice retired policeman and his daughter after the first mile or so.  Evidently, it’s very common for people to give rides around here.  Then we went to a resort called the “Treelodge Resort” (caught another ride) and had lunch.  It’s owned by an American man named Mark and his Italian wife, Maria.  The resort itself didn’t impress much, but the restaurant is very quaint sitting on the edge of the mangroves and they had pretty good food as well.

We’ve done a lot of walking and packed in a good amount of stuff in the last few days.  We’ve gone to the Aquaculture Center where they spawn and raise a large number of giant clams, mostly for food consumption but they also sell to aquariums in the US and Europe.  We also went to the little one room museum and learned about some of the original ways of life here on Kosrae.  We tried to have “dinner and a movie” at Treelodge Resort.  Dinner was excellent (fantastic pizza) but the movie was rated R and not appropriate in the least bit for little Jake so we made our way back to the boat in our dinghy.  We got stuck in the low tide in the mangroves!  We thought we would be fine since the movie would last two hours, but since we had to leave early it didn’t give the water enough time to get back up…oops.  We made it back ok it just took a little longer than usual.
Each of these concrete tanks were filled with tiny "giant" clams.

This guy was scrubbing the tiny clams to get them ready to sell to
aquariums.

These clams are about a year old....3 inches or so.


Mangroves

The happy skipper

"Bully's Restaurant" at the Treelodge Inn

Jake is the one on top of the boy's shoulders.  They were
having "chicken fights."
Today, we rented a car and drove around the island (as far as the road will let you go….it doesn’t go all the way around).  We can’t get over how stinkin’ pretty this place is.  Flowers everywhere, banana trees, citrus trees, palms, Mangroves, Mango trees…  We met a great American couple that is here volunteer teaching at the highschool, Sarah and Craig.  They went snorkeling with us today and showed us the good places to go.  The water was a bit rough for me, but we did see some impressive coral and Jake got to play with the local kids again…chicken fighting, throwing seaweed on each other, etc.  Just seeing him come out of his shell the past few weeks with the kids is really cool to watch. 

Tonight we’re settling down and relaxing (we had a late night with Sarah and Craig on the boat last night so we’re kind of dragging!), planning the next fun thing for tomorrow.  I’ll try not to spill it all in this one post and save some for later.

4 comments:

Diane, Evan and Maia said...

So cool to see you happily in a new place. And sort of jealous too. Getting itchy feet here--which are a long time from curing. Guess I'll have to live through your travels:)

Pete said...

Hello from Downtime! Glad to see you are back in paradise! I cant wait to go somewhere WARM!! Keep up the good work on the blog! you do a awsome job at it! Pete

Anonymous said...

Great entry; I lived in Kosrae and it really hits home--the people are SO friendly. Safe travels! :-)

Dana Lee Ling said...

Glad to see you have discovered Kosrae! Do swing by Kosrae Village Resort and say hi to Katrina, Bruce, and Sepe. The Inum restaurant had a beans and rice lunch dish that I still miss. Few tourists make it to Kosrae. Kosrae has a charm that I fear Pohnpei is losing as the island gradually develops and becomes - at least in Kolonia - increasingly urban.

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