ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Pohnpei not Pompeii

Updated on September 3, 2016
Canita Pro profile image

I had opportunities to visit or live in over one fourth of the world. I am writing about my experiences. Enjoy. Canita

Pohnpei, Micronesia

get directions

Magical Tropical Island

A magical weekend trip to a tropical island. This was my first break from the stresses of moving from the continental US to the island of Guam. I experienced and viewed things on this trip that I will never forget. I am fascinated by the legends of Nan Mandol and the people of Pohnpei.

Mangrove Tree Belt

The Island of Pohnpei is the wettest place on earth. This lush tropical rainforest gets around 300 inches of rain each year. It rains for an hour or so each morning and clears for the rest of the day in December/January. The island is completely surrounded by a belt of mangrove trees, therefore there are no beaches. The island is thirteen miles straight across and approximately 60 miles around. It is frequented by green sea turtles, Eagle rays, reef sharks, Dog Toothed tuna and barracuda. There are excellent shallow coral gardens between the island and the belt of mangroves. These colorful coral gardens are full of fish which makes it great for snorkeling.


1990 Photo of Atoll Joy
1990 Photo of Atoll Joy | Source

Joy Pier

Pier and dogs awaiting ferry at Joy Atoll
Pier and dogs awaiting ferry at Joy Atoll | Source

Atoll Joy/Joy Island

Late one afternoon friends and I took a ferry out to an atoll. This atoll is called Joy. This atoll is not far from the main island and close to the airport. An atoll is an island created by coral not a volcano. As you approach the atoll it looks like an overstuffed finger as the palm trees completely cover it and dangle off the ends. On the pier awaiting arrivals were three dogs. I spent a couple of hours walking the coral reef. I found a shell that I sent to my mother. The water was 72 degrees and clear. I ate a picnic on the beach and watched the sunset as a wave of purple clouds flew by and a spray of white rays sprang through them as the sun fell. I stayed overnight in a small hut that held two army cots, my luggage had to be placed under the cots to have enough room to turn around. It was very basic accommodations for they did not provide blankets or pillows. The hut allowed a cool breeze and kept us safe from the dogs, rats and bats. I woke the next morning to the rooster crowing and dogs barking at the arrival of the ferry. I was allowed one bucket of water for my shower. When the bucket was empty your shower was over. I caught the ferry back to the mainland.

Nan Mandol

1990 photo of Nan Mandol
1990 photo of Nan Mandol | Source

Pacific Island of Pohnpei

Pohnpei, Micronesia
Pohnpei, Micronesia | Source

The Venice of the Pacific

I took a bumpy truck ride over pothole ridden road to the east side of the main island. Followed by a slippery fishing boat ride across the mile deep lagoon to visit the ruins of a thousand year old royal city called Nan Mandol or the Venice of the Pacific. Nan Mandol is the grounds which was once the center of activity; a place of worship, prayer and eventually the burial place of the Nanmwarki’s and Saudeleur’s. Nan Mandol is man made island. The builders were Olosihpa and Olosohpa. The source of the stones was; Takaieu, Sokehs Rock and Chicken Shit Mountain (this mountain received this name from Marine of the United States military because of its looks.) If you study the island you will find that the mountains in which these stones were removed is fifty to sixty miles across the island. The concensus is that the method used for construction of this location was the stones were floated by wooden raft, towed underwater or rolled/pulled upon ramps into place. However, according to Pohnpei legend, these stones were flown into their place by magic.


After years of thinking on this legend I believe that perhaps there was another mountain of basalt stones close by this location and that mountain was complete dislodged to build this city. Another hypothesis is Takaieu, Sokehs Rock and Chicken Shit Mountain are piles of this basalt stone that was hewn in shape for future use in building.

Scene from South Pacific

It was back across the lagoon, in the slippery boat, to eat at a restaurant built on the hill. It was like a scene in a movie, South Pacific large fan back rattan chair and large rattan fans blowing the corners of our napkins as we dined. Later, we walked the shore of the lagoon. I was amazed by the size of the starfish. They were the size of a grown man’s hand and were the vivid colors of royal blue and orange. There were five or more of the blue ones and only two or three of the orange ones. My friends and I had a great time taking pictures of each other with these starfish draped over our legs, arms and head.


Ship graveyard 1990 Pohnpei
Ship graveyard 1990 Pohnpei | Source

Ship Graveyard

As I journeyed back to Kolonia, the capital, by we passed a ship graveyard. It is a colorful bay filled with rusty, sinking ships sitting in the water ready to be buried. It is said that there are WWII ships and ammo sunk in this area. Scuba divers find the graveyard an excellent place to dive.

As Close As it Gets

Our host took us one afternoon to a remote place that was clear of mangroves which is as close to being a beach as Pohnpei can boast. It is where the volcanic part of the island had caved into the sea and the coral was building a lagoon. The water was very clear. The roots of the mangroves were stretching out trying to fill the gap. Among the seaweed and mangroves there was a lone electric eel and several Eagle rays. We did some walking in the shallow, clear waters on the inside edge of the mangroves, enjoying the smell of the salty air, the sounds of the waves hitting the coral reef, and the feel of the warm sunshine.

Precious Memory

This trip will always be beautiful memories for me. It was my first Christmas away from home. The weekend was peaceful, restful and surreal. I would love to return to Pohnpei and do an in depth research of the legends of the island.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)