Scuba Diving Kosrae

Kosrae has some of the most pristine reefs in Micronesia and is perfect for photography. Underwater photographers will be amazed at the water visibility and diversity of the reef’s ecosystem.

 

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Kosrae has been described as an unblemished garden of flowers, palms and citrus trees. The air is fresh on Kosrae and adventure beckons those wanting to truly get away from it all.

Steeped in the history of many decades, the island invites exploration. There are mysterious ancient Lelu ruins similar to those of Nan Madol on Pohnpei.World war artifacts, cave systems and remnants abound and there’s even a pirate ship sunk beneath the waves.

A hike up Kosrae’s famous Mount Finkol called “Sleeping Lady” will take the explorer past a series of gushing waterfalls pouring through Kosrae’s verdant jungle. Paddle a sea kayak or a native outrigger canoe through the vast channels of Kosrae for a truly exhilarating trip into the womb of the marine world. Kosrae offers a restful , scenic visit in the FSM.

The famous mangroves of the island present a world of opportunity to see nature in all of its peace and solitude. In some places they form a high jungle canopy where channels rise and fall with the tides. Immense root systems and a myriad of animal and plant life flourish in these complicated ecosystems. Kosrae has had the foresight to set aside large tracts for its marine park and the result is one of the most pristine mangrove areas in the wolrd, complete with rare indigenous trees and wonderful birdlife.It is cast in quiet images of sunny, unspoiled beaches, caressed by crystal waters and deep blue skies. Vivid green is the color of it’s tropical mindscape and calm is the color of it’s fragrant refreshing air.

SCUBA DIVING KOSRAE

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The greatest attractions are the clear, clean ocean and it’s extraordinary living hard coral reefs that completely surround it. Offshore, the coral reefs slope steeply into the clear blue depths. Both vertical drop-offs and undulating profiles of cascading corals appear before you, as underwater visibility averages 100 to 200 feet. The reefs comprise hundreds of densely packed coral species, both hard and soft, attracting an abundance of marine life. A diver could easily observe 50 species of fish in a single dive. Turtles and rays inhabit the waters of this island paradise, and if you enjoy finding nudibranchs and other macro subjects, you’ll be delighted.

Night dving here is exciting with the clear water allowing moonbeams to funnel through and illuminate the reef naturally. All sorts of odd creatures come out at night and divers can wathch the noctunal realm of the marine world unfold. Kosrae’s reefs are uncrowded and a superb venue for seeing the ocean’s wonders.

HIGHLIGHT DIVE AREAS

Locals often say “we have only one dive site, & it’s 43 miles around!”

Kosrae has the finest mooring buoy program in Micronesia. Buoys mark the best dive sites all around the island. (And the snorkeling’s great too!) Below are some of Kosrae’s best dive sites:

Hiroshi Point – Address : Buoy 15  This site offers divers glimpses of large coral heads – estimated to be more than 2,000 years old – and large numbers of Christmas tree worms and invertebrates. A diverse variety of marine life, including eagle rays, schools of huge parrot fish, reef sharks, barracuda and squid can be seen. It is a popular shore entry with a high tide and low surf. Great for snorkeling, too. Current is variable and generally runs north around the point.

Lelu Current – Address : Buoy 54  Formerly known as D’Urville Point this site is on a wide reef shelf and has many low growing coral. It is often subject to rough water and can have strong currents; boat entry only. Divers have reported sailfish in the area. The point is a popular fishing spot.

Walung Coral Shelf –  Address : Buoy 32  The Walung Coral Shelf is a spectacular dive that includes a great variety of fish and healthy coral. The current is rough, sometimes too difficult to dive, so planning a dive is critical. The water is a little colder than usual, which is possibly the reason why the fish are so numerous and large.

Walung Drop-Off –  Address : Buoys 29 and 30  The drop-off is one of the most popular dive spots in Kosrae. Incredible sheet walls are home to schools of barracuda. All types of marine life have been seen here – small hammerhead and reef sharks, turtles, giant puffers, numerous small invertebrates. The current can be strong.

Malem Reef Shelf – Address : Buoys 8-10  Located on the windward side of the island, the site contains a wide reef shelf and is profusely covered with low-growing coral. A variety of fish can be seen here. Juvenile whale shark have been spotted in the past.

Blue Hole – Address : Just off the Lelu Causeway  This site is accessible even in stormy weather. Within the reef (maximum depth is 60 feet), you can see resident sting rays, large numbers of juvenile fish, huge puffers, and whatever else comes over the reef at high tide. Visibility varies. Walk or swim over the reef flat for entry.

Yela Harbour and Wall – Address : Buoy 36  This deep wall site is home to many corals and scribbled file fish that are so curious and friendly that they’ll follow divers around.

Shark Island – Address : Buoys 39 and 40  This is considered an excellent dive site with many species of fish and invertebrates, but be careful of the fast current. If there is no current, Shark Island is a great night dive, but only one of many.

The Leonora –  Bully Hayes, infamous and notorious 19th-century American pirate and trader, would often use Kosrae as a roadstead. In 1874, a typhoon whipped the ocean waters and sunk the schooner, named in honor of one his twin daughters. Discovered 110 years later, the Leonora rests in 30 feet of water at Utwe Harbor, though the only remnants are a few metal objects.

Eagle Ray Wall – Address : Utwe Harbour  If the currents are moving this can be an excellent dive to see Spotted Eagle Rays gracefully playing off the edge of the steeply sloping coral walls. Our divers have reported seeing up to 16 on a single dive! Lobsters can often be seen hiding under ledges and in crevices, along with plenty of other marine species just waiting to be viewed in their natural habitat.

DIVE INFORMATION

DIVE SEASON:   Year around, NO diving on Sunday!

VISIBILITY: Visibility is pristine, averaging 100  feet (30M) and frequently exceeding 200 feet (61 M)

WATER TEMPERATURE:  The water temperature is a fairly constant 82F (28º C).

WEATHER:  During the summer (June to October) the water is generally calmer and the currents lighter making for easy diving. In the winter (late November to May), diving may be limited to the south and west sides of the island. Some of the most spectacular dive sites are located in these areas. The wind can result in faster currents which can also bring the larger pelagics into the reef.

SKILL LEVELS:  Dives for all diver skill levels are readily available.

MARINE LIFE:   Kosrae is known for its virgin reef, pristine waters with and thriving hard coral.  There are more than 172 species of hard corals and 10 species of soft corals. There are over 250 species of fish and marine lives.  Bottleneck dolphins are regularly seen and whales sometimes can be spotted.

GENERAL INFORMATION

CLIMATE:  It is warm and humid in Kosrae throughout the year. The mean annual temperature is about 77 F (25º C )and rarely exceeds 90 F (32º C). Kosrae is characterized by two distinct seasons: a dry season between May and October, and a rainy season from November to April. You should be prepared for rain showers everyday. Easterly trade winds are dominant between November and June. Tropical squalls can dump a considerable amount of rain in a short period of time, but usually do not last long.

LANGUAGE: Kosraean and English speaking community. You will find many Kosraeans speak English well as their second language.

ELECTRICITY:  Standard 110 volt and US type outlets are used.

CURRENCY & CREDIT CARDS: US currency is used. We recommend bringing cash. Few places accept credit cards. There is an ATM machine. There are two banks. Bank of the FSM and Bank of Guam

GRATUITIES: Visitors to the country are guests and hospitality is an honor in our culture. Tips are neither expected nor encouraged.

PHONE & INTERNET SERVICE:  Kosrae is linked to the rest of the world by way of satellite and fiber optics. A full range of telecommunication services, including pre-paid telephone cards, internet, and facsimile machines are available to all points overseas.  Internet is usually available in resorts.

VISA & PASSPORT REQUIREMENTS: A passport must be valid for at least 120 days beyond the date of entry. You will be required to fill out an immigration form and a custom form. US citizens must show proof of citizenship and nationals of other countries must have a valid passport. A 30-day tourist permit may be obtained upon entry from immigration officials. All visitors must have a return or onward ticket

CUSTOMS:  Customs checks are performed upon arrival entry to Kosrae. Visitors are allowed to bring one carton of cigarette, one pound of tobacco (about 20 cigars), and 52 fluid ounces of alchohol. An import tax for excess of these products will be levied. Under $200 value of each of following – cosmetics, toiletries, perfumes, non-alchoholic beverages, food stuff, citrus fruits, and soap are permitted without tax. Fruits and vegetables, flowers, and other plant life as well as livestock, poultry, and meat products are either prohibited or restricted.

ILLEGAL SUBSTANCES:  The punishment for illegal importation of narcotics, possession of, and other illegal substances are punishable by minimum of 10 years in prison without parole. There are alcohol beverages for sale in some of the island markets. Drinking is illegal on Sundays 12AM to 12PM.

DEPARTURE TAX:  A US$15 departure tax is collected at the airport before departure.

USEFUL INFORMATION 

Kosrae Tourism Information

 

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