And has steep outer reef walls that drop off into very deep conditions, especially on the west side. Currents can be swift anywhere outside the lagoon and in Dauenai (Pass), but particularly on the east wall. Visibility can reach 50 meters (164 feet). You’ll need a boat to get to all of the dive sites except “Turtle Canyons,” which you can access from the beach at Pahn Mwek (island). The channel between Pohnpei and And is notoriously rough during the winter. Diving at And is possible from May through October, but the best conditions are usually September-October.
This drift begins on the outer reef corner north of Olouna (nicknamed “Bird Island” for its huge seabird rookery) and goes south. Sharks, tuna, barracuda, turtles, and other large pelagic species may be seen. Best at 18-40 meters. Advanced.
This drift runs either way along the western outer reef wall and features lots of hard and soft coral variety, caves, tunnels, holes, reef fish, and sharks. Best at 18-40 meters. Advanced.
This spot in the lagoon north of Pahn Mwek (island) features shallow coral grottoes, lots of reef fish, and a strong likelihood of sea turtle sightings. Best at 10-23 meters on a late in-coming tide. Novice.
This is a spot on the outer reef wall south of Sakarawi (Island) known for triggerfish. Best at 18-40 meters. Advanced.
This drift begins outside and to the west of Dauenai (passage) and then follows the west wall of the passage north into the lagoon. The spot gets its nickname from the large orange elephant ear sponges that are prevalent along the wall, but this is a great place to see And’s gray reef sharks, a lot of beautiful hard and soft corals, and macro-life. Best at 18-40 meters on an in-coming tide. Advanced.
This drift begins outside and to the east of Dauenai (passage) and then follows the eastern passage wall north into the lagoon, featuring huge groupers, wrasse, turtles, rays, congregations of gray reef sharks, whitetip and blacktip reef sharks, large schools of barracuda, jacks, and occasionally billfish or dolphins around the mouth. Best at 18-40 meters on an in-coming tide. Advanced.
This is a spot on the outer eastern reef wall between Pasa (island) and Nikahlap (island), which is sometimes considered part of the next drift-dive on this list. Soft coral, rays, and lots of pelagics are to be seen here. Currents can be intense. Best at 18-40 meters. Advanced.
This is a drift-dive starting at “Itol Rock” and running south along the contour of the reef wall. See Itol Rock for features. Currents can be very strong. Best at 18-40 meters. Advanced.
This is a drift-dive running in either direction along the outer reef wall north of Pasa (island) and featuring the usual And Atoll gamut of large pelagics, turtles, and sharks as well as blossoming coral on the wall. There are often strong currents here. Best at 18-40 meters. Advanced.
We’d like to extend a big kalahngan to Mike Viti, John Ranahan, and Karino Olpet for sharing their in-depth, first-hand knowledge about SCUBA diving on Pohnpei — without which this page could not have been created. Images licensed from www.shutterstock.com.