Pohnpei travel blog part one & two

Part one:


Part two:


The Many Faces of Pohnpei: A P-Pass Surf Girl Adventure

Words Janni Hönscheid | Surfers: TPW Mermaids Janni Hönscheid & Sylvi Bodi | photos by Simon Williams – Swilly (follow Swilly on Facebook and Instagram)


“Other side”

Remote. Rawness. Beauty. Sometimes you have to go away from civilization to find your soul. Away from it all… to a new place. A place in the middle of the ocean, with green mountains, warm waters, coral reefs, powerful waves… a place where nobody goes. Where you are the only tourist getting off the plane.  A place where the ocean sound puts you to sleep and people wear flowers in their hair. Where sun and rain dance around each other and make you wander where the end of the rainbow is… as all you saw was the start.

A place like Micronesia.

I had never even heard of this place before. Sylvi, who had been here already, told me about this beautiful and crazy wave called P-pass. We were going to travel to Hawaii and heard about our friend and photographer Swilly being here so we thought… why not?

Then I tried to find it on the Atlas and realized it was exactly on the other side.

Sometimes places that you never even dreamed of can surprise you the most.

After departing in Oahu, we had 4 stops before arriving in Pohnpei. Each stop was on a beautiful island, where the airport would be right next to the ocean. On some of the stops we got off the plane… one step out and the humidity would hit you. The water would be so turquoise that you wouldn’t believe your own eyes.

We would get some shell souvenirs from the friendly locals that opened only for this hour – as there is only one plane a day that flies here, always at the same time. And get back on board.

Till we reached the most beautiful of them all.

Our room at the Pohnpei Surf Club is right on the water. It’s a place where you want to jump from the balcony, because you would actually land in the sea… Jump into life.


The next morning when I looked out, the water was that glassy and the reflection in it so perfect  that I thought I was upside down.

And then I met the wave. Palikir Pass. And I fell in love.

At first I was skeptical. Only one wave. A damn heavy one. I saw the pictures. Huge heavy barrels. Would I even be able to surf this wave?

We paddled out with two other guests. No one else. This is the crowd. 4 people (!) And this made a huge difference. You could position yourself perfectly and get to know this new wave. I had a first little wave to begin with and I surfed it super safe. Then I had another and that one broke the ice. I paddled back out with a huge smile on my face. Then I saw Sylvi going for a big set wave. She already had some beauties under her belt. But this wave was somehow different then the last ones… it looked like it was pretty much below sea level.

However, my brave Hungarian charging surfer friend went for it. She nearly had the drop but then decided to do a superwoman move straight with the thick lip flying through the air and getting washed to the shallow reef. She was in the washing machine for a while but then also made it back out. And I realized it’s a wave that will keep you on your toes. Get comfortable but never underestimate. Don’t have fear, but respect. Never turn your back on her…

Palikir Pass has many faces. And I’m excited for the next 10 days. I want to see them all.

The Perfect Wave Mermaids are incredibly fun loving surfer girls who just happen to be renowned international models.They are inviting you to join them on their upcoming 2016 TPW adventures. Our Mermaids have a trip lined up at Aloita Resort, the Mentawai this coming March/April 2016, and their annual Maldives charter boat trips in July/August which sell out rapidly

The Many Faces of P-Pass: Going Deeper


Words Janni Hönscheid | Surfers: TPW Mermaids Janni Hönscheid & Sylvi Bodi | photos by Simon Williams – Swilly (follow Swilly on Facebook and Instagram)


The great thing about spending 14 days in one spot such as P-Pass is that, other than the wave, you will also get to experience a real feel for the place…

You will see more then what meets the eye, go higher, stay longer, get stronger, go deeper… and eventually in the depths you will find others who will be on that same wave length as you. These last few days have been all about exploring. Pure wanderlust. Wake up in the morning to the sound of the ocean and have absolutely no expectations… going with the flow and taking each moment as it comes. Spontaneously swimming in our mermaid tails after a long surf session and having salt on our skin all day. One fun wave after the other… big smiles on our faces, fresh tuna on our plates.

One day we were so surfed out that we felt like doing something different, so we set off on our little boat, heading to a magical place: Nan Madol. The technical description: it’s a ruined city that was the capital of the Saudeleur Dynasty until about 1628, and it’s remains are the only standing monument of a civilization built entirely over open water, on a coral reef. The ruins are built of 750,000 tons of black basaltic rock, and very mysterious as, to this day, nobody knows how they brought the columns there back then… if you ask the locals they believe through levitation.


My personal description: it’s one of these places that makes you speechless and gives you chills. Its beauty is indescribable and you could spend hours just wandering around these huge, heavy rocks, feeling their energy, and just making your mind at peace with the fact that there are things on this planet that we just will never be able to explain…

On the way to Nan Madol we passed some cute tiny little islands that were home to some local families. The dad would be fishing, taking responsibility and getting the food for his beloved ones, the mum would be hanging up the washing on a little palm tree while she kept a watching eye over her kids playing and laughing in the water with a little tree branch. They even had a dog on this tiny island -barking happily as we drove past- which pointed their attention to us and they all stopped what they were doing just to friendly wave over to us, strangers.


To finish our day and see off the sun, we drove over to the mountain across the adorable Mangrove Bay Hotel, heading to the Sokehs rock, which is one of the signature elements of this paradisiac place.

And again, we got hit by history and mad energies as, hiding in the depths of the humid and dense vegetation, they were some canons and bunkers from the Second World War… our imagination and feelings would go back in time for a second, watching our surrounding and thinking about what it must have been like for the people back then, fighting for their lives… but then, watching the canons from a different perspective, you could see pink & purple flowers blossoming out of the cracks, bringing you back to the present moment.

Without history, there would be no future. On our way down, we were sharing a local beer and already picturing a new day as we saw the moon coming up in the distance, a new day of waves & wanderlust, a new day of pure life!