First swell of the season at Pohnpei - video

Stu Nettle
Swellnet Dispatch

Summer time in Pohnpei is a sombre affair. Like the Hawaiian islands, which lie 5,000kms east, it faces into the North Pacific Ocean which shuts down for the summer. Down here in the antipodes we've got the Roaring Forties that blow year 'round, but the North Pac swings to a different tune.

Yet with summer done the North Pac is waking from its slumber, the first storms are traversing the basin sending waves, albeit small, to the waiting coasts. Last week the first swell hit Palikir Pass with a small contingent of surfers on hand to celebrate,

Video courtesy of World Surfaris.

 

Comments

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Monday, 9 Oct 2017 at 6:00pm

Looks fun and playful but is that a swell?

Must go flat for months.

Funny how you never really hear or see anything about other waves in Micronesia you would expect there would be countless waves on islands and reefs when swell?

I remember when google earth first came out i found one island that had such a fun looking left and right split peak with two other left and rights.

Ada gula, ada semut!

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Monday, 9 Oct 2017 at 6:11pm

Plenty of waves , but only this one is for sale.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Monday, 9 Oct 2017 at 7:34pm

nah, there are others for sale now too.

On Kosrae and in the Marshalls, which has a much wider swell window.

eat-your-vegies's picture
eat-your-vegies's picture
eat-your-vegies commented Monday, 9 Oct 2017 at 10:43pm

Indo dont worry about it. Very rarely gets swell and nowhere else is any good when it does.

Nick Bone's picture
Nick Bone's picture
Nick Bone commented Tuesday, 10 Oct 2017 at 5:53am

how much did they fork out to surf that?

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Tuesday, 10 Oct 2017 at 8:27am

The goofy who gets most of the waves is Allois Malfatani, mad keen fisho, recent cancer survivor, and operator of Pohnpei Surf Club.

I'd say it's just locals and expats out there this time of year.

Also, Pohnpei has reef passes on its southern and western sides that work in similar typhoon swells as that which light up the Philippines, Morotai, Pulau, and all those funky corners of the far western Pacific. Needs swell to travel east so it all depends on how the lows get cradled in the synoptic flow.

From what I've read the southern reef pass near Nan Madol (can't recall name of the pass) was the first wave surfed on Pohnpei.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Tuesday, 10 Oct 2017 at 12:45pm

Sailed into Pohnpei March '96 from the Marshalls. We ran aground on dark in Kolonia harbour but managed to pry the steel-hulled schooner off the reef at night with wooden planks on the high tide with a light land breeze. Skipper gave us an extra ration of rum for saving his vessel. No motors so we hove to until dawn.

No surfers on the island. We hitched around the island and got villagers in boats to take us out to the reef passes. Worked out pretty quickly that P-Pass was the most consistent break on that quadrant of the Island. Surfed it most days head high to double over-head but we weren't that excited by it because we'd been surfing a G-Land imitation left in the Marshalls and a short right hander with a perfect tube seemed routine.

In the bar at the harbour was a surfboard with a bite taken out of it and the story was a seppo, the first to surf P-Pass had been bitten , managed to get back in his boat and survive the attack.
That, when we were there, was the last time someone had surfed on Pohnpei.
We couldn't believe we could buy ready-rolled joints at all the little store shacks on the road-sides. That seemed like heaven on earth.

crg's picture
crg's picture
crg commented Tuesday, 10 Oct 2017 at 12:50pm

Classic.
Reckon that could be a good idea to travel with a shark bitten board...temporarily hang it in every local breaks bar...have a ready made tall tale to tell of savage mauling and miraculous recovery.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Tuesday, 10 Oct 2017 at 1:00pm

The other thing I remember is loads of reef sharks at every pass we surfed. You'd be in the water 5 minutes and there'd be a dozen reef sharks cruising around.
I got hit by one, knocked off board duckdiving, in the Marshalls.

Stu, were there loads of reef sharks when you were there?

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Tuesday, 10 Oct 2017 at 1:15pm

Been twice but the only time I saw one, actually I saw a few of them, was while snorkelling over at Ant Atoll, about 10kms offshore from Pohnpei.

Plenty of activity in the water, as you'd expect, but no sharks. No doubt they're there.

And that story of the fella getting bitten is crazy. Climbed into his tinny then gunned it across the lagoon but realised he wasn't gonna make it so he rammed one of the fishing trawlers at speed. Bunch of heads craned over the gunwales, looked down and saw a crazed Yank bleeding profusely. Pulled him up and saved his life.

It'll never be Indo but I like Pohnpei and the strange, often ignored histories from that side of the Pacific. Very different people to the Polynesians.

loofy's picture
loofy's picture
loofy commented Tuesday, 10 Oct 2017 at 1:45pm

Mate!

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Tuesday, 10 Oct 2017 at 1:34pm

Look out Steve, the RS sharks have expanded their hunting territory.

G'Day Loof, I had a session with Iggy the other day and he was riding your Bonzer. Shoulda held onto that sucker.

loofy's picture
loofy's picture
loofy commented Tuesday, 10 Oct 2017 at 1:47pm

Haha. Actually gone back and edited it... funny but maybe too far.

Nah, the bonzer never got taken out in decent enough waves, Iggy will give it a good home.

jfs's picture
jfs's picture
jfs commented Tuesday, 10 Oct 2017 at 1:01pm

I have surfed P Pass and just come back from Siagao Island, Philippinnes (home of Cloud 9 ).
PPass is an awesome wave but Siagao Island offers far more choice of surfing options. The challenge for PPass is that you only want to go there if the swell is running which is difficult to forecast and if it does come it will likely be crowded as it is one line up only. The promoters really need to find viable alternatives to PPass if the swell/wind direction does not suit PPass. When we were there it was PPass or the highway which is unacceptable given the time/money to get there.