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Dive Review of The Village in
Micronesia/POHNPEI

The Village, Jul, 2006,

by NEAL LANGERMAN, CA, USAQ . Report 2889.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving All over the Pacific, all coasts of USA, Gulf, Caribb, etc.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas calm, choppy, currents
Water Temp 82 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 2
Water Visibility 25 to 75 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions None
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 2 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 2 stars Boat Facilities 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 1 stars Shore Facilities 1 stars
UW Photo Comments The Village acts as if they have never seen a hosed camera. I had to work hard to get a clean rinse tank so I could service my housing each day.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 1 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments My wife and I have more than 65 years of diving experience between us around the world on live-aboard and land-based operations. Pohnpei of the Federated States of Micronesia is approximately in the center of the vast ocean area which comprises FSM. We stayed at The Village Resort which provided all diving, meals and lodging on a strictly ala carte basis. The Village is over 25 years old and is reported to be the best accommodations on Pohnpei. It is set on the side of a steep volcanic escarpment. Diving starts by meeting in the Long Building and walking down a steep coral-surfaced road to the waterfront. Gear is transported in a truck. If you are carrying equipment or cameras, this walk is onerous and unpleasant. At the waterfront, several barebones skiffs are tied to the stone walls. The skiffs have no seats, no tank racks and minimal shade. Cushions are provided for divers to sit on the skiff deck and lean against the sides. Four or five divers, a guide and an operator appear to be the maximum safe load for the skiffs, which are powered by two outboard motors. The skiff is unprepared for most reasonably anticipated emergencies. Communications is provided by mobile phone, which may or may not have reception. Oxygen and a first-aid kit were unavailable. Indeed, when a guest fell in the skiff and dislocated a finger joint, no materials were available to provide a splint to stabilize the injury, even though all that was needed was tape.

Diving can be inside the reef or on the outer reef and surrounding atolls. Visibility on the outer reef and atolls is markedly better than inside. Manta Ray Road is a channel inside the reef with two cleaning stations at which Mantas frequent. Visibility is relatively low in the channel, but is tide dependent. A reef hook is essential but not provided or even offered by The Village staff.

Diving from the minimalist skiffs is simple. The guide helps you put on your BC and you back roll into the water. You need to remove your gear to get back into the skiff. The fish are typical Indo-Pacific, with beautiful hard corals. We saw many more anemone with the Anemonefish (Nemo) on the reefs of Pohnpei than at Yap or Palau. Sharks and Spotted Eagle Rays cruised just off the outer reefs. At one point a school (20 30 fish) of young White Tip sharks cruised by within 30 50 meters of the divers. This was well within the clear visibility of the water. Ant Atoll is a must-do dive. The water clarity is exceptional. The hard corals were the most beautiful we saw in FSM. On our first dive, a Spotted Eagle Ray swam by about 20 meters out from us. White Tips and Black Tips were hunting on the shallow reef, in about 20 feet of water. Large Clown Fish and their Anemone were abundant. The drift dive through the Ant Atoll channel, about 2 hours into the incoming tide was exceptionally exciting.

While the guides were helpful, we found the overall operation to be less professional than we expected based on the reputation of The Village. The senior management was responsive to reasonable requests only with great effort on our part well beyond what any guest at a resort should be forced to expend. Their attitude resulted in our overall frustration with what otherwise would be an exceptional resort.

Pohnpei and The Village are not for the faint-of-heart divers. But those who are very self-sufficient will have some memorable diving experiences.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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