Kosrae

4.5
(1 REVIEW)

 

Country: Federated States of Micronesia

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Kosrae in a Nutshell

This remote island remains a diving secret, hosting intricate and healthy reefs but very few tourists. It's located 2,960 miles southwest of Honolulu. At only eight miles wide at its furthest points, this small 30% habitable island has been described as an undeveloped Tahiti.

 

 

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Diving Information 

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Marine Life & environment

Nearly every inch of the sloping benthic environment is draped in an abundant and diverse layer of coral growth. A healthy sprinkling of anemones provides Kosrae’s most reliable attraction.

Clownfish and their host anemones can be seen on every dive. The three species most commonly found here include the tomato clownfish (Amphiprion melanopus), Clark’s clownfish (Amphiprion clarkii) and pink clownfish (Amphiprion peridaraion). Small reef fish are usually best shot with a macro lens, but the clownfish here are so friendly they make for stunning wide-angle reefscape subjects as well. You can also wander a bit to find a lionfish (Pterois volitans), giant Pacific grouper (Epinephelus lanceolatus) or venture a bit deeper to play with the current-swept crinoids.

Much of Micronesia is known for bigger animals, and in this aspect, Kosrae is similar. The shallows are patrolled by a vigilant regiment of blacktip reef sharks (Carcharhinus melanopterus) that keep just to the edge of visibility. Sites such as Hiroshi have a high probability of encounters with circling gray reef sharks (Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos) playing in the current. Three species of stingrays and regular turtle sightings round out the larger reef animals. Keep your eyes to the blue, as encounters with larger pelagics like dogtooth tuna (Gymnosarda unicolor) can steal the show. 

 

Diving Conditions

  • Water Temperatures: The average surface and water temperatures are both about 80 degrees. 
  • Visibility: Can reach beyond 100ft (30m) 
  • Distance to Dive Sites: Varies between 5 - 30 minutes, dependant on what dock you depart from and what dive site your heading to.

 

Top Dive Sites

  • Walung Drop-Off: Wall dive with schools of barracuda, reef sharks, hammerheads, turtles and more.  Can have fast currents
  • Shark Island: Schools of barracuda, dogtooth tuna, eagle rays, and reef sharks can be commonly seen here.  It can also be a great night dive location when the currents are low.

 

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Travel Information 

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How to Get There

Visitors from the US usually fly to Kosrae International Airport via Honolulu. Another way is to take a direct flight to Tokyo, and then travel via Guam.

 

How to Dive Kosrae

There are dive resorts available in Kosrae, with Kosrae Nautilus being the most popular one.

 

Best Time to Dive

Diving is done year round, but split to basically two different seasons.  June - Oct the currents are typically calmer allowing easier diving, while Nov - May hold stronger currents but higher chances for large pelagics.

 

Topside & Non-Diving Activities

Kosrae is a wonderful island for history, culture, and environment.  All local activities orient around those three aspects. Either Kayak through the mangrove channels, take an eco-hike through jungles and mountains, or enjoy some of the cultural traditions still practiced today like canoe building, weaving, woodcarving, and farming/fishing.

 

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Other Useful Information 

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Practical Information

  • Currency: US Dollar (USD)
  • Electricity: 120V with A & B plug type
  • Language: The native language is Kosraean. But most people speak sufficient English
  • Time Zone: UTC+10
  • Entry Requirements: US citizens only need a valid passport for entry. Nationals of other countries must have a valid passport and a 30-day tourist permit may be obtained upon entry from immigration officials, with extensions up to 90 days available.

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Reviews (1)

5
4
4
5

There is a good reason I am the first reviewer for Kosrae- it is completely off the map and mostly untouched by the western world. If you are looking for modern luxuries, a hopping nightlife and a community of fellow divers, go to Chuuk, Palau or any of the other dozens of overinhabited tropical islands to which divers flock. If your goal is to unplug, dive on gorgeous coral reefs, take in some serenity, encounter genuine local culture and go home with an amazing experience from a place none of your friends have visited, Kosrae is for you.

The 2000 inhabitants give the island a small town feel; they all seem to know each other and many will recognize you and quickly start to greet you with a smile every day. Kosrae has no major imports as the locals are supported mainly by subsistence farming, but they are very welcoming and appreciative of tourists. The mood is vey laid back, especially on Sundays when no diving or working is allowed. Small stores are fairly spread out throughout the island. The cars are all purchased used from Japan, so they are right-hand drive even though everybody drives on the right side of the road. It is at once a funny yet beautiful place inhabited by wonderful people.

This island is an undiscovered gem both above and beneath the waves. The diving is mostly drift diving over wonderful hard coral gardens with abundant reef fish and punctuated by frequent encounters with larger animals like gray reef sharks, stingrays, turtles, and giant Pacific groupers. The staple organisms of anemones with resident clownfish can be seen on nearly every dive.

The island also boasts a number of wrecks. The Sansun Maru is a supply ship that rests in about 60' of water. Don't miss out on the sunken plane wrecked nearby. Finally, there are the remains of the pirate ship owned by the infamous Bully Hayes. Called the Leonora, there isn't much left, but the dive itself is a fun muck dive in Utwe Harbor, perfect for days when the winds kick up and limit your options.

Visited on 08/2014 - Submitted on 08/24/2014

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