29 FEB: Monday
Arrive at Yap. Check in at hotel.
01 MAR: Tuesday
Today is the first day of the annual Yap Day festivities including an opening ceremony and parade.
02 MAR: Wednesday
The Yap Day festivities continue for a second day of colorful cultural dance performances and demonstrations of local skills.
03 MARCH: THURSDAY
Free day in Yap to relax and get ready for the voyage to Woleai. There will be a sightseeing tour of the island today for those who wish.
04 MAR: FriDAY
Early morning boarding of our exclusively chartered ship M/V Hapilmohol 1 for a scheduled 6:00 am departure.
05 MAR: SatURDAY
En route on the 367 nautical miles journey to Woleai.
06 MAR: SunDAY
Scheduled arrival at Woleai 6:00 am. After disembarkation, there is time for a quick look around before settling in to enjoy the annual Woleai Cultural Day festivities.
07 MAR: MonDAY & 08 MAR: TueSDAY
Two free days on beautiful Woleai atoll, with Falealop main islet as our base. During this time there will be opportunities to visit some of the other islets including inhabited Tagaulap, Saliap, Wottegai, and Falalis as well as go swimming and snorkeling. We will become acquainted with some of the Woleaians describing to them the eclipse and explaining how to observe it safely and enjoyably. There will also be time to explore options for our preferred viewing locations for Eclipse Day. While at Woleai we will live on board Hapilmohol 1 or, if the islanders approve, you may camp ashore if you wish – bring your own equipment.
09 MAR: Wednesday. ECLIPSE DAY
The day we have all been looking forward to! Make final preparations at the viewing location you have selected and get ready for totality. There will be limited availability to move around to avoid potential clouds by using the H1 tenders and also, small boats the Woleaians will provide. First contact at 10:10 am with solar elevation 52 degrees – already higher than TOTALITY in Indonesia! Total solar eclipse 11:38am-11:42am. Subsequently fourth contact 13:14pm. After third contact we will celebrate with our newfound Woleaian friends before preparing for departure of the ship at 18:00.
10 MAR: Thursday
En route steaming back to Yap.
11 MAR: Friday
Scheduled arrival time into Yap at 18:00 pm.
12 MAR: Saturday
Begin your journey home, or extend your stay in this delightful area for optional activities such as a customized trip from Yap to Ulithi atoll for fishing, snorkeling, turtle-watching, experiencing island culture, etc. – can include excursions to seldom-visited sister islets Mogmog, Asor, and Fassarai. We can tailor make an extension trip around your needs and requirements.
Contact us for unique and special add-on ideas.
Cultural festivities coincide
We were delighted to learn, and can now share with you, that by pure good fortune there are cultural festivities scheduled not only on Yap but also at Woleai which coincide with our desired itinerary – a remarkable serendipitous treat which will add a whole extra dimension to our plans as an available option. The annual Yap Days comprising dancing and colorful ceremonial pageantry and cultural skits and arts and crafts and decorations of every variety will take place Tuesday March 1 and Wednesday March 2, and the annual Woleai Cultural Day along similar lines but with a more outer-island flavor, will take place Sunday March 6, same day as our 6am arrival in H1.
Paraphrasing one of the Yap local descriptions:
March 1st and 2nd are Yap Days, the island's days to celebrate everything Yapese – culture, tradition, food, family, and community. They're the most colorful days of the year with traditional dances, crafts, competitions and demonstrations in ceremonial dress. It's a celebration, and a cultural preservation ceremony, that welcomes visitors to Yap, encouraging them to participate, learn about Yap, meet the people, and take photographs. During Yap Days, villages compete. Dances, coconut husking and grading, betel nut tree climbing and weaving are a few of the traditional contests. Demonstrations include traditional attire, canoe building, rope making, net tying, and bamboo raft making as well as grass skirt, kafar, basket and fan weaving. In two days you can learn a lot about Yap culture, history, people, and the famous stone money. You can eat and drink local food, take plenty of photos, and buy traditional craft souvenirs.
Then on March 6 after our outbound leg on H1, we'll attend Woleai Cultural Day which will have its own unique appeal in that it is completely “not geared for show to outsiders”, it's by and for the islanders themselves with visitors welcome but, some years due to Woleai's isolation, few or no visitors in attendance so, this is going to be truly a special privilege for us to witness. Frankly from what we've been finding out, Woleai appears to be a lovely place not only in its natural setting of multiple islets around the double lagoon five of which islets are inhabited, but also in the warmth and friendliness of the thousand or so islanders. Note that Woleaians are fully aware of "western culture" and quite a few have lived abroad for long periods, but are consciously, earnestly seeking to preserve traditional Micronesian culture and way of life on Woleai so it's truly an exotic and “unspoiled” destination, the classic "remote atoll" receiving very few "tourists" because it's so inaccessible having no functioning airfield. Surprisingly, now Woleai does have a small generating station providing electricity 24/7 and, since early 2014, internet access rated as "slow, but usable"...also an airconditioned dispensary and a general store and a high school where you can stop in at the main office facility so, as a visitor to Woleai you need not feel entirely cut off from civilization...and don’t forget bureaucrats with clipboards, yes there will be a couple of those too, to greet us upon arrival thereby truly assuring everyone we can feel right at home!