Micronesia, Yap - Wa'ab


Double click thumbnails to maximize.

The Island of Stone Money

Quarried in Palau and transported to Yap, "real" stone money is crystalline inside and often a light peach color.

Men's House

We were lost so we can't tell you where this is, though it is a fine example of a Men's House where men, and only men go in the evenings to meet and to educate young men in traditional arts

A Grass or Vine

on this house was said to help keep the interior cool


made from coconut is the only "fastener" holding together this whole house. Some of the wood is betel nut, some mahogany and some coconut palm.


walls, platforms, piers and fish weirs are everywhere in this island group.


stone platforms mark where homes or meeting sites were. The population of the island was believed to once be about five times what it is today.

St. Francis of Assisi

church is a neat, airy structure tucked in the woods.

Glen & Marie McConchie

were our companions that day. Glen is crew on the vessel Backbeat wrecked on super typhooon Haiyan and on the hard on Wa'ab Island's slipway

Even the Oldest

stone money is said to still have an owner. We later learned that islanders don't take kindly to people "handling" their money.

This is Said to Be

a stone money bank. We couldn't find an ATM there.

Maap Village

of Maap municipality sits in the windy NE corner of Wa'ab Island. We visited here to watch two dances being "hung up".

We Asked

Alicia of On Verra to go to the end of this pier (?) because the light was so nice. We were assured the vertical stones on such walls were specifically put there to lean against.


invited us to his village, Gagil to show us the men's house. This led to a brief side tour to the palms used for roofing (and for the Filippino version of tuba, or palm beer).

Men's House

Gagil. This sat on its own stone island and face the tradewind breezes.

Gagil Village

Patrick & Agnes - Confiance; Marie - Backbeat, Alicia & Alfredo (right) - On Verra with Jospeh and palms Gagil Village, Wa'ab.

The Elegant

frigate bird motif adorns all the canoes we have seen in Yap State

The design

is even elegant on a canoe still under construction


haul out on the slipway in Yap coincided with a rare west wind, beam to the hull. The haulout took many hands including Alfredo who was trying to keep the bow straight.


and Philip acted like "Little Toot" to counteract the big catamaran's drift to starboard

Typhoon Sky

As typhoon Peipah passed to our south, the skies around Yap were very odd. Eerie.

Fly Trap

We never did find out the name of this plant but its flower was a perfect trap for flies that are digested by the plants enzymes.

Giant Clams

of the Pacific are magnificent. This clam from Palau and living in a giant clam hatchery in Yap was just bigger than an American football and was being used as breeding stock.

Giant Clams

are cultivated for aquariums and also for food. They can get enormous - we saw two in Fiji that were approx. 6 feet long and probably weighed hundreds of pounds


was a strategic site during WWII. This Japanese anti-aircraft gun was near the old airport. Glen and Philip were checking to see if there was a shell inside. There wasn't.

The Gun

had many large holes in it. We hated to think what happened to the gunner.

Yap's Jungles

are full of the wrecks of airplanes - both Japanese and American

This Pilot's Seat

from a Japanese bomber was tiny.

This Plane's

landing gear looked nearly new. The stainless steel was still shiny.

The Island of Stone Paths??

During a long day of exploring, we came upon this stone path that led to the sea and to a men's house.

Yet Another Men's House

reached by sea or by crossing an ancient causeway at the end of a dirt track far in the jungle. We didn't know where we were but a small group of men, some drunk, told us we were at Maa.

Yet Another Men's House

at Ronuw was occupied by young men staying cool on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Not Only Are

stone paths and stone money everywhere but also stone platforms with small vertical rocks around the perimeter. These platforms kept the men off the (often swampy) ground while the rocks served as backrests.

Yet Another Stone Platform

this one on the south end of the island where the land seemed supersaturated with brackish water. Betel nut trees flourish in these environments.

The Tamilyog Trail

crosses Wa'ab Island, passing by taro patches and ancient stone money

Some Stone Paths

are curiously quite wide.

Our Last Night

in Wa'ab we went to supper at the Mnuw (Sea Hawk) with Glen and Marie. This is a large beautiful Indonesian ship that's been turned into a restaurant for the Manta Ray Bay Resort.