Shoji, JA7HMZ and Akio, JA7ZP will be active from Pohnpei Island (IOTA OC-010) 29 November - 4 December 2014 as V63DX and V63ZP.
They will focus on 160m and qsos with Europe.
Shoji will be active in CQ WW DX CW Contest as V6A in SOAB Category.
Akio will be active in CQWWDX CW Contest as V63ZP in SOSB Category.
V6A, V63DX via JA7HMZ.
V63ZP via JA7ZP.
Pohnpei Island – formerly known as Ponape – is the largest island out of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). The large, volcanic island is above the equator in the Pacific Ocean, southwest of the Hawaiian Islands but still southeast of Guam. The island offers numerous mainland activities and is surrounded itself by eight small atolls, smaller islands made from coral, offering beautiful beaches and numerous water based sights and sounds.
The FSM is made up of 607 island-nations, and four states – one of which is Pohnpei State. Pohnpei Island is the largest, most populated, and holds the reputation as being the friendliest island out of the states. As of 2010, approximately 34,000 people live on the island, in part because the capital city of FSM, Palikir, is located on Pohnpei.
Pohnpei Island is one of the wettest places on Earth that is also inhabited with annual recorded rainfall amounts surpassing 300 inches a year in some areas of the island. The weather is tropical with averages ranging from the lower 70s to highs in the upper 80s (Farenheit). Although it may rain, exploring the country in the humidity makes a vacation feel more like an adventure in Pohnpei’s climate and rains usually don’t last all day.
An Untapped Adventure
Most of the island’s coastal areas are covered by swamps but the outlying atolls have beautiful beaches where surf, diving, and sunbathing are always in season. The mainland has several opportunities to hike mountainous trails, and view spectacular waterfalls. And if city and historical artifacts are more your speed, explore the capital and main city of Pohnpei Island.
- The surfing season usually starts in late October and rides until April but surfers have been known to catch good waves throughout the year. The northwest side of the island is best for swells, and most surfers suggest viewing the ocean from any of the hotels to get a good overview of the ocean.
- If swimming and diving sound like the best kind of adventure to you, Pohnpei has plenty of coral reef atolls where divers and snorkelers can go to explore the beautiful, and colorful world beneath the waves. There are a few spots to rent a boat or take a chartered tour.
- One of the must see sites while on Pohnpei Island is Nan Madol, the ruins of an ancient city built in a lagoon on the eastern shore. Small, artificial islets make up the ruins, which was built around 1200 AD and served as the capital of the island until the mid-1600s. The name Nan Madol itself means “spaces between”. In 1985, the site was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and the U.S. National Historic Landmark list.
- Sokehs Rock is a great hike for those wishing to explore the wilderness of the island. The prominent cliff is one the island’s best known geologic features on Sokehs Peninsula off the north coast of Pohnpei Island. Cars will only take travelers so far, and then a 30-minute hike to the top from the Sokehs Ridge hike trail provides a great view of the entire island. World War II relics such as canons and buildings make for an interesting trek.
- The Pohnpaid Petroglyphs are located north of Nan Madol and are an easy walk from the parking lot. Dozens of ancient drawings are chipped into an outcrop of basalt flow, which covers the ground for several meters.
- The Kepirohi waterfall is a beautiful, large waterfall that is just a short drive from Nan Madol. The water is clear, and swimmers are invited to enjoy the refreshing feeling of taking a dip in the pool. The waterfall is made up of two, twin streams spilling down a basalt pillar. Just a short walk from the main road, the waterfall is a vacation photograph waiting to happen.
- Although it isn’t the capital, the city of Kolonia is the largest one on Pohnpei Island. The port city has several shops and restaurants, and a main street with a U.S. post office for visitors to send postcards. It is also the location of the U.S. Embassy and where the only airline – United Airlines – flies into Pohnpei.
A Friendly, Accommodating Island
Getting around on Pohnpei Island may be a bit confusing but completely worth the adventure. Roads are not named and instead, one main road is used to access everything. Car rentals, taxis, and boat or kayak rentals are all available on the island. Walking is highly recommended as the island is small and most attractions are close together.
The 7 Stars Inn located in Kolonia is rated as the top inn on the island by many visitors. Rooms are comforatable and come with reliable internet access. Cable is also included in rooms featuring international programming and news. Air conditioning and hot water are both standard and staff are extremely helpful. Airport pickup and car rental can be arranged through the staff at 7 Stars Inn. Lefty’s Bar, the hotel’s onsite restaurant, has good ratings from previous guests as well.
Nihco Marine Park and Resort offers both apartments and self-contained bungalows for tourist who are looking to stay longer than a few days. Off the beaten path, this accommodation comes with access to private, small beach. The bungalows have thatch roofs, air conditioning, and kitchenettes with a refrigerator. Palikir Marine Adventures is a locally-owned surf camp on the island, with reliable boats and surf tourist accommodations. The resort has clean rooms, a friendly staff, and free Wi-Fi.
A Tropical Escape
The island of Pohnpei is charming, friendly and well worth the flight. Rain or shine, the mountainous terrain of the largest island of the Federated States of Micronesia makes for the perfect adventure with breathtaking views as the reward. Historical sites and undersea wonders are begging for exploration by driving, walking, hiking, diving, snorkeling, and swimming. Take a trip to this unique island and experience the vacation only few have before.
Video Pohnpei Island