Published: March 16th 2008March 16th 2008
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Today we arrived at Yap Island, the Land of Stone Money, at approximately 6:00 am only to find that the pilot boat- this is a local person(s) that helps direct you through the harbor and to the dock. In this case they did not arrive at the ship until after 7:30 am. They work on Yap time which is apparently similar to Lake City, Colorado time - at your own slow pace. We were supposed to anchor out in the harbor and then use the tenders to go to shore. This is a slow process and you must leave about 45 minutes each way to get to the shore or ship depending on your direction. We were all very happy when the Captain (Captain Jack actually) decided to try and go in to dock. It was slow going as there is a tremendous coral reef covering the area and no ship of our size had ever made it through to the dock. But we did! Yeah, no tenders! Waiting we lots of cars and a few actually said taxi on them but most we just private cars that thought they had a chance to make a little extra money - and they did. We went ashore but decided to just wander around on our own. What a beautiful little island and the people were so nice and, of course, no one was in a hurry (at least the islanders weren’t, some of the cruise guests are always in a hurry). This would be a great place to do some diving, and we did go visit one of the dive shops to see what they offered and what kind of operation they had. We were impressed with Yap Divers out of the Manta Ray Hotel. We found some of the stone money - it varies in size from 1 foot to over 10 feet in diameter with a hole in the center. It can still be found around the island on display and is used in ceremonies as well as or buy land. A little impractical to carry around in your wallet, purse or pants pocket. There license plates have The Island of Stone Money on them, and some folks were actually able to purchase old license plates. When the MS Statendam docked in Yap, the population of the island more than double. Later, on the ship, one of the village dance groups, ranging in age from about 6 to 20, came on board the ship and gave a beautiful dance performance to a standing room only crowd. What a great show! We heard it many times during the day that Yap had been everyone’s favorite island, so far.
In the evening, back on board the ship, we went to the show after dinner. This time it was Justin Miller the wonderful guitarist and Lee Bayless, the comedian, con man, liar and thief (their title, not mine). What a great show! Both acts were as good, or better than their first time on stage. Dr. Justin Miller has been giving lectures on music through the decades and all of those have been wonderful, as well. Tomorrow is another sea day and then on in to Guam.