The following article was written on May 10, 2010 by Francis Itimai. I found it while looking at the backups of this website and thought I would re-post it for your consumption.
This is to share our utmost appreciation and gratitude to the longest serving Captain for the MS. Micro Spirit, Captain Robert Raifelig for his commitment and undivided services provided to not only Yap State as a whole but its neighboring islands. Micro Spirit has been servicing the islands now for more than twenty years and we have heard rumors from people in the Yap State Government that it is about to be decommissioned. As for Captain Robert Raifelig, we have also heard rumors that he will be retiring from his tenure as the captain of the vessel and as one of the senior captains in the Federated States of Micronesia.
Captain Robert Raifelig to give a little background of his Seamanship experience, which to my memory and I stand to be corrected, started out as an Able Seaman amongst other Yapese Outer Islanders out of a nursing school in Saipan after graduating from the Outer Islands High School on Falalop, Ulithi and after so many years of working on the ships which served the islands and the whole Trust Territory in the olden days was promoted to a ranks of 3rd Officer and 2nd Officer and First Officer on the MS. Micro Spirit when it was first launched from the shipyard in Japan under the command of Captain Yoshino Weilbacher.
From then until now, the MS. Micro Spirit which became YSS Micro Spirit after the ownership was turned over to the State of Yap from the National Government, Captain Raifelig has been commanding the ship despite all the difficulties the ship would encounter in rough oceans between Yap to Japan and back to Yap not to mention between the islands when the ship had to traverse between the Yap neighboring islands to deliver medical needs, commerce needs and educational needs for the islands.
Even during stormy weathers, Captain Raifelig would not waver and set sail to the islands from the main island Yap to transport passengers back to their home islands and back to the Center for medical attention and for students to go on to their schools.
Captain Raifelig is from the island of Falalop, Woleai and is married to a lady from the beautiful island of Ifalug with five daughters and a son Robert Raifelig Junior who is presently attending Chaminade University in Hawaii.
I think all of us who have successfully completed our studies abroad and for those of us who are still undertaking our studies should be indebted to Captain Raifelig for making sure we were safely transported on the YSS Micro Spirit to wherever our destinations would be;thus, we should all take our hats off to him and salute him for the excellent services he has done for all of us and the populous of the islands.
Captain Raifelig in my own judgment should be commanded and awarded for the job well done and he should be awarded a bonus by the Yap State Government and the National Government for that matter for his tenure as Captain of the Micro Spirit and should be retired honorably as one of Yap’s legend in the FSM seafarer’s records.