First Trip to Ant Atoll

Mason and I had the incredible opportunity to take a boat out to Ant Atoll this past Saturday. Our landlord was taking a tourist scuba diving, and we were able to join the trek.

Ant Atoll is about 27 km west of the main island of Pohnpei. We stopped in two locations for the scuba divers, and Mason and I were able to snorkel both times. We saw too many colorful fish and coral to count, a ray of some kind, a small school of barracuda, and a few different sharks. We were also able to watch the scuba divers swim along the sea floor, which stirred our interest in getting certified ourselves in the near future.

The atoll itself was magical. I’m not sure how to describe in writing the breathtaking scene. There were six different shades of blue in the ocean and sky. The white sand that stretched on as far as the eye could see had shadows cast across it from the lush green flora leaning towards the water. I could have basked in the sun for hours… with sunscreen of course.

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Ant Atoll, Pohnpei, FSM

We brought our GoPro along of the trip. Check out my first attempt at a video:

Music by Christafari found on http://noisetrade.com/.

Note: If you are making a trip to Pohnpei and need a place to stay and/or are interested in doing some diving/snorkeling, contact our landlord Ken Shigeta at piratepni@gmail.com or, if you speak Japanese (or know how to use google translate) visit his website: www.snowlandpni.net

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Getting to Pohnpei

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Close to wheels down on the Kwajalein, Marshall Islands tarmac before land is in view.

My husband and I met as Peace Corps Volunteers in Azerbaijan a few years ago. We tend to think that our meeting was very romantic. We work well together because of our shared itch for exploration and adventure, and I could go on, but this blog isn’t about our love story. After our Peace Corps service, we moved to Washington, D.C., a city that neither of us had lived in previously, with the intention of gaining professional and academic experience that would help us to once again work abroad. So, three years later, when a work opportunity arose for my husband on the island of Pohnpei in the Federate States of Micronesia (FSM), we had to say yes!

I have been on Pohnpei for one week now, and I am sitting here deciding what to say in our new blog. I suppose I will start with getting here, because that is one thing I wish I had known more about as I was planning our move to the middle of the Pacific Ocean…

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Sitting on the Kosrae, FSM tarmac.

It seems to me that getting to FSM will most often require a flight to Honolulu. I traveled to Honolulu from Seattle by way of San Francisco. After a 13-hour layover in Honolulu, which I later came to realize was my saving grace because it allowed for a full eight hours of sleep in an airport hotel room, I was boarding the “island hopper,” on my way to Pohnpei. The island hopper, as it is called, is a daily flight from Honolulu to Guam that stops on Majuro, Kwajalein, Kosrae, Pohnpei, and Chuuk on its way.

Flying over Pohnpei, FSM before landing.

Flying over Pohnpei, FSM before landing.

I took a photo at every take off and landing. The view out the window was magnificent, and I was thoroughly impressed with the pilots’ abilities to land smoothly on the small island runways that seem to appear out of nothing. I would say that the flight out here was an exciting way to start this new adventure in Pohnpei, FSM.

My husband and I plan to use this blog to share information about our travels and time in FSM. Stay tuned for more posts about this beautifully amazing place.