Protection for the Yela Ka Forest

Earlier this month a historic occasion took place on Kosrae. The Yela Valley Ka forest, the last major Terminalia carolinensis forest in the world, is now protected by the first conservation easement in the Asia Pacific Region.

The Nature Conservancy helped the families who own the Yela Valley, a 1,400-acre valley encompassing the largest stand of Terminalia carolinensis trees in the world, several other endemic plant species and the endangered Micronesian pigeon organize the conservation easement which is funded by the U.S. Forest Service and the David and Lucille Packard Foundation.

While conservation easements are relatively common in the United States, this is the first conservation easement outside of the Americas and Hawaii. This revolutionary land deal is also preserving the culture and traditions — the forest provides freshwater, fish from the rivers and traditional medicine. The trunk and immense buttresses of the ka tree were traditionally used to make ceremonial canoes, and the nuts are an edible treat. It is also an extremely valuable watershed, with almost no invasive species, which drains into one of the most productive reef areas on Kosrae.

Yela Valley Protected Area

Yela Valley Protected Area

The full Nature Conservancy press release is here: TNC Yela Press Release

It’s good to have good news,
Katrina

 
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A Newletter in Disguise :)

This post is partly to check that the new subscription mechanism is working and to share three short bits of information.

  • Next weekend (April 5-6) I will be at the Seattle Scuba and H2O Show. It’s being held at the cruise ship pier on the Seattle waterfront, Pier 91. This is a new venue for the show, for the last few years it has been held in the Tacoma Convention Center.

    Kosrae Village has booth #719. If you are in the neighborhood drop in to visit, or to talk about Kosrae and Kosrae Village or to book a trip of a life time. :)

  • Spring Specials!

    We’re offering a great special from May 1 to June 30.

    Stay for 5 nights and pay for 4, stay for 10 and pay for 8, or… you’ve got the idea. The only catch is that you can’t combine it with any other special.

  • Coral Monitoring!
    This year’s annual monitoring session will run September 27 – October 10. Don’t worry if you haven’t done it before. If you can dive and have good buoyancy, we will teach you the skills needed for the monitoring. It’s a win – win. You have a great time diving in our clear, warm tropical water, learn new skills and contribute to the understanding of the coral reef, local and regional managers really need (and use) the information we collect. To top it off, US taxpayers can deduct their expenses from their income tax. For more information email me me or check this page on the Kosrae Village site.

Have a great day!
Katrina

 
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Spring Time in Kosrae!

Kosrae Island

Kosrae Island

Hey – I hope that you are having beautiful weather where ever you are. It’s gorgeous here, I was diving two days ago with a group of local students and the water was perfect. Crystal clear, calm and with lots of critters.

Hiroshi Point Magic

Hiroshi Point Magic

I’ve been a bad correspondent lately, just because I’ve been really, really busy. My Mom celebrated her 90th birthday last month and I went to Alaska to help celebrate. We’ve been busy here on Kosrae too. Here’s a few of the things that are going on.

Here at KVR our guys have been hard at work putting up new thatch and making sure that the cottages are in top condition. They are also working to strengthen our coastal protection. Just like coastlines everywhere, our coast is suffering from climate change and sea water rise. It only takes a small increase in water level to destabilize the natural seawall or “berm”. We’re successfully using a combination of traditional techniques with modern materials to slow the advance of the ocean, but it takes a lot of work and is expensive. It’s a good thing we’ve been busy!

The Island is busy too, preparing for the FSM National Environmental Conference being held on Kosrae next week and the State Fair and Cultural Day, March 27 and 28.

Kosrae Village has a booth (#719) at the Scuba and H2O Adventure show at Seattle’s Pier 91 being held April 5 and 6. I will be there, so come and see me and check out our show specials if you get a chance. We’ve donated a great “Silent Auction” prize to the show, 5 nights and 1 dive day for two! The proceeds will go to the Washington Scuba Alliance and California Ships to Reefs. If you’ve been thinking about visiting us, you might want to bid on this.

Here’s a link for more information about the show and their Facebook page where prizes are posted.

While we’re talking about prizes, here’s another Kosrae Village donation for the International Ecotourism Society’s ecoDestinations Live Auction.

But enough computer stuff! Get outside! Go diving! Dance in the sunshine! Have Fun!

Cheers,
Katrina

 
Posted in Kosrae Island, Kosrae Village | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Sports Kosrae!

This has been a great week for sports on Kosrae! You might already know that sports are very popular on here. Well, this week was Heaven for all the sports fans, and great fun for the rest of us. :)

The 6th Kosrae Games were held November 11th and 12th with two very full days of track and field, basketball, baseball, softball, volleyball, tennis, wrestling, weight lifting, and spear fishing. The top athletes will represent Kosrae at the July 2014 Micro Games in Pohnpei.

ALSO on the morning of the 11th the first ever Kosrae RockHopper trail run was held. The 5.7 miles (9.15 kilometers) run was partly on dirt road and partly on pavement. Over 60 athletes joined the run, including people from Japan as well as our neighboring islands of Pohnpei and Kwajalein. Here are the unofficial results.

Walkers and joggers were welcome as families, seniors, and young people joined the other athletes.

The top male and female runners, Matt Rott (42:07 minutes)and Krystal Peterson (45:00 minutes) won entries in the Guam Xterra. The Guam triathlon will be held March 29, 2014. The Guam Xterra is a preliminary event for the Xterra world championship.

Here are a few photos from our RockHopper:

Kosrae Rockhopper 2013 Starting Line

And They’re Off!

Matt Rott Crosses the Finish

Matt Rott Crosses the Finish

Matt Congratulates Krystal

Matt Congratulates Krystal

RockHopper Awards

RockHopper Awards

Next year’s RockHopper will be September 18, so mark your calendars and plan on running, walking or cheering on the athletes.

Have fun!
Katrina

 
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It’s a whole different world!

When you thinking of diving in a tropical location, you think of clear vis, amazing corals, wonderfully bizarre animals and huge schools of fish, right?

Well, next time you have a chance, take it a little farther. Most tropical destinations have mangroves and mangrove channels, that sit where the salt and fresh water meet. Many are pretty shallow, and you can easily explore them by snorkeling. But if you really want to get down there and look closely, take your scuba gear.

By chance I wound up in the mangrove fringing the Utwe Biosphere Reserve with snorkel gear and no camera. What I saw was amazing and I went back, with scuba and camera.

It’s a whole different world.

Fish that we don’t often see on the reef: Humbug and Blacktail Dascyllus, Picassofish, and Monos for instance, corals that are adapted to this very harsh environment and the most amazing sponges. And did I mention the surreal effect of the mangrove roots?

It’s not for everybody, as I said the water is shallow, currents can be fierce and the visibility is usually not crystal. But if you are looking for a new environment to explore, it might be just the thing.

Here are a few photos from my “exploration”:

Humbug Dasycllus

Humbug Dasycllus, Sponges and Nudibrach Egg Sprials

Humbug and Blacktail Dasycllus

Humbug and Blacktail Dasycllus

Mangrove Roots and Sponges

Mangrove Roots and Sponges

Tiny Nudibranch Pair with Eggs on Blue Sponge

Tiny Nudibranch Pair with Eggs on Blue Sponge

Go Diving! :)
Katrina

 
Posted in Diving & Marine | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Diving! Again or Still or Whatever :)

I’ve just spent a couple of excellent weeks diving, with old friends and new. I’m at that really nice place in training a new dive guide, where I need to be there, but he’s almost ready to fly on his own. So I get to dive, watch amazing animals on our incredible reefs, enjoy good company (and lunch!) during the surface intervals and, oh yeah, take pictures. :)

Here’s one that I’ve been try to get for a long time.

Bignose Unicornfish (Naso vlamingii)  Being Cleaned

Bignose Unicornfish (Naso vlamingii) Being Cleaned

These fish have amazing color and pattern changes. This is a male fish, and he is usually just a dark grey / blue when he is cruising down the reef. That big dorsal fin is normally folded pretty close to his back. When he is courting a female (or maybe establishing territory?) he will turn a fluorescent royal blue with dark stripes and flare his fins. Sometimes just the stripes will fluoresce. This is what he looks like when he is getting a massage in a cleaning station.

I’ve just added about 30 new photos to my gallery. On the home page the photos from the last two weeks are mixed in with the photos from my trip to the US mainland in the spring. If you just want to see the diving photos, select “Ocean” from the Galleries drop down menu.

Enjoy!
Katrina

 
Posted in Diving & Marine | Tagged | 10 Comments

United Flight Number Change

It’s not a rumor any more.

This was posted yesterday. Check here for the full  post.

UNITED Micronesia Island Hopper Flight Number Changes from late-October 2013

by JL

Update at 0615GMT 20JUL13

UNITED from 27OCT13 is adjusting operational flight numbers for its Micronesia Island Hopper service. Existing Eastbound service from Guam and Micronesian Islands to Honolulu, will switch from UA172 to UA155. Westbound flight from Honolulu and Micronesian Islands to Guam, remains unchanged.

So, if you are having trouble locating United flight 172, try looking for flight 155.

Then book a flight and come see us. :)

Cheers,
Katrina

 
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What DO you do all day??

Besides all of the ordinary things that go with running a small business? I volunteer, a lot!

Yesterday, I spent volunteering with the KIRMA (Kosrae Island Resource Management Authority) Marine Division in their annual survey / cleanup of crown of thorn sea stars.

These sea stars are coral predators, and while they are a natural part of the reef, over population can have disastrous consequences. The good news (or bad, depending on how you look at it :)) is that we didn’t find any crown of thorns in our section of reef.

So what did we see?

The crown of thorns are often found under coral overhangs and other shady places, so I got to do a whole bunch of looking under coral ledges and inside the hiding places created by the piles of coral. I saw LOTS of nudibranchs, a beautiful pin cushion star, a couple of lion fish, some living shells, other innocent sea stars and critters that prefer to avoid the sun, and of course tons of coral and fish. Not a bad way to spend the day!

I didn’t have my camera with me, but if you’d like to see some representative critters, take a look here: Katrina Adams Ocean Photos

Today? It’s the Chamber of Commerce Board meeting (I’m the secretary) and related stuff.

Tomorrow? Don’t know yet, but I”ll bet that there is something.

What DO you do all day?

Whatever it is, enjoy!
Katrina

 
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Katrina’s Spring Adventures!

Well, I’ve had an exciting few weeks and not always in a fun way. The “not in a fun way” part involved multiple computer failures, computer viruses in hotel “business” centers and discovering that Android tablets are useful in a business context – as long as you don’t rely heavily on Microsoft Access data bases. You really don’t want to hear about those trials and tribulations, just know that I’ve got a reliable machine and Internet access again! YEAH!!!

On the fun side, while I was in the Seattle – Tacoma area for the NW Dive & Travel Expo, I made a quick side trip to Kalispell, Montana with my sister. She had business, but I got to roam around, explore and take photos. Kalispell is within spitting distance of Glacier National Park, but the park was still a bit frozen. Instead, I explored Lone Pine State Park right on the edge of Kalispell and got this trailside panorama of the city cradled by the mountain range.

Kalispell from the Trail

Kalispell from the Park Trail

There is a delightful and sly sense of humor in Kalispell, as you can see from these two photos –

Love the Boots!

Love the Boots!

Don't Feed the Bears!

Don’t Feed the Bears!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A huge “thank you!” to my show “assistants” for all of the great help during the show! Remus (a Kosraean living in the Seattle – Tacoma area), and Wolfe and Donna (who came to help on their way home from their trip to Germany!) did a tremendous job and it was terrific to see you all again!

After the show I drifted down the coast to California, where I got to sail, go to a Scottish festival and experience a Cross Fit class with my kids.

Sailing on SF Bay

Sailing on SF Bay

Finally, on my way home I took some photos of  two of Honolulu’s “personalities”.

Honolulu Sunset

Honolulu Sunset

Honolulu Beach Front Park

Honolulu Beach Front Park

Enough about my adventures!

This weekend, June 8 and 9, Bruce will be staffing the Kosrae Island booth (# 629) at the Long Beach Scuba Show, along with Grant Ismael from the Kosrae Visitors Bureau. We are offering a great show special, so stop, ask questions (book a trip :)) and generally make a nuisance of yourself.

Have a great weekend!
Katrina

PS – We are still looking for a few divers to fill out the October coral monitoring team.

 
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Unofficial FSM National Election Results

For all of you who follow the FSM national elections.

Check this link for the unofficial results from Tuesday’s election.

Cheers,
Katrina

 
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