Maybe one of the moderators will have to move this...? But some more on Palau/Micronesia....
We've been getting alot more boats here in Palau. Up to 20 bona-fide cruisers have been here at one time which is pretty good for Palau. If anyone comes please clear in right off or don't go to shore or messing around until you do. It's fast and easy enough and a couple guys here have gone to great efforts to make yachts welcome (in the not so distant past is wasn't so). In the past a few boats have gone ashore...of course someone from Customs saw them at a bar and then recognized the next day as they cleared. Others try to clear out then loiter a couple/few/too many days and they always are spotted. Just not necessary behavior for here and it rubs local authority the wrong way. The customs and immigration officials are great people and they do not ask anything that's remotely a hassle so please don't hassle them! Clear in first day - leave the country immediately after clearing out unless you have a real emergency and notify port control if you do....no dramas.
Nearly all the yachts anchor next to Sam's Tours home of the Royal Belau Yacht Club. Here you will find friendly, helpful staff and a safe convenient place to land your dinghy. If one is interested they can join the YC for peanuts and get a discount on purchases at Sam's. Just check with the office. There's an outstanding group of people here that can help ya with just about anything or point you in the right direction. See www.samstours.com
One can Google Earth the location and it's a quick motor around from the commercial port where you clear in. If one needs help, advice or assistance prior to arriving or a clearance liaison try emailing them. Super yacht crew might find this the most helpful.
This may be dated, but if one is passing through Yap or thinking about it, try emailing customs and/or immi in Pohnpei. You might be able to get you cruising permit scanned and emailed to you for no charge and they were tolerant if ya stopped somewhere before clearing IF you had this. just check with them.....
Google noaa oscar and one can see a 5 day surface current. The counter current is a major factor coming from PNG/Solomons, Irian Jaya and from the Philippines if coming to Micronesia. If one sails east from northern Mindanao it's worthwhile to head se till ya catch the current then swing back up to Palau or carry it more east for looping through FSM. One couple here rode it all the way due south of Hawaii then went north. It varies, but when the SW monsoon is pumping out of SE Asia it seems to help, of course, and the el nino thing effects it too.
Between the PI and Palau take extra-super care of the FADS. Typically STEEL barrels that look like a boiler anchored in miles of water with a huge swing radius. They float just a foot or two or so above the surface and others report not seeing them on radar. Some are bamboo/foam, but I've seen dozens that are metal. They start picking up in frequency just about the half-way point between Palau and the PI. Yachts have hit them....don't know of anyone having life-threatening damage. Pain in the bum for sure though! I've been trying to log gps co-ords for reference, but they come and go over the years. Email me if you need to and I'll pass on what we have.
If you are new to typhoon country be a chicken. The power of these storms is crazy! They can pop up fast. Palau has been lucky....one formed on us over-night and the winds were only 50-60 knots but that's a handful if you're anchored amongst coral. If one is not familiar with the FNMOC sight start watching it if you come through Micronesia. Clcik WXMap on the home page, then look under GLobal Models/Tropical Areas then NW Pacific - click NGP or GFS and then look for the surface barbs/windstream loop. While in Guam for an extended period this was a daily check. It proved very accurate for lots of us.
cheers - Jay