Easily my favorite experience in Yap was the Yap State Field Trip Ship Halipmohol.
As the only real option to get to the Outer Islands, it was my top priority for the whole time I was in the country. Due to an unfortunate cholera outbreak, the month’s sailing was an abridged version visiting only the Ulithi Atoll and Fais, instead of the whole far-flung range of Yap’s Outer Islands.
After two days I settled into the boat and a routine of chatting, reading, eating, napping, and repeating. Unexpectedly, though, the crew announced that we would be taking an extended abridged version of the normal sailing.
An islander outside of the planned sailing route suffered a stroke while we were at sea, and because there are very few airstrips in Yap’s Outer Islands it came upon the Halipmohol to retrieve him and deliver him to Yap’s hospital in Colonia.
Between the cholera situation and the need for speed, passengers were allowed to disembark and walk around only at our first stop in the Ulithi Atoll. For the rest, we were afforded brief glimpses of the shore and nothing more.
Having picked up our sick passenger and started back for Yap Proper, it became clear that we wouldn’t be back in time for me to catch my international flight out of Yap. Luckily, the medivac plane from Ulithi’s main airstrip to the capital had one extra spot. I duly pleaded my way onto the 8 seat plane of the day’s Pacific Missionary Air flight.
Circling up over the Ulithi Atoll to gain altitude, the Halipmohol started off into open water for its 1.5 day trip back to Colonia. Thirty minutes later, we put down at the airstrip with 11 hours left to spare until I left the country.
Headed to Yap and unsure where to stay in Colonia? The best dive resort/hotel combo seemed to be Yap Pacific Resort, but spend some time searching and you can find other options as well.