Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I'm Here

After about 10 weeks I finally made it to Tern Island! It’s a lot like Midway but much smaller, no trees (or bowling alley), and we have to take turns cooking. Right now there are 6 of us here in rotation so I’ll get my first chance to cook for the group on Friday. The food pantry is stocked pretty well but I think I’ll try something easy. There’s about a 2 year supply of ramen packages so maybe I’ll just boil some of those up.

The room I moved into needs some work. I’ve got to evict about 20 brown widow spiders (I heard they aren’t quite as poisonous as black widows). I’ll also need to try to coax the roaches into someone else’s room. We also don’t have a clothes dryer so we use a line outside. You just have to ignore the white stains that you get on everything from the birds.

Today was a holiday so I got a chance to snorkel off the east side of the island. The fish and coral are pretty much the same as at Midway, but the current is a lot stronger since the reef doesn’t surround the whole atoll like it does at Midway.

I’ll probably be here until about March before I get some time off the island. It looks like it will be busy around here, but I think I’ll love it.

This is the plane we take. We have to fly about 40 min. from Honolulu to Kauai, top off the fuel, then fly about 2 and a half hours to Tern. It can only take 720 lbs. so that's usually only about 3 people and gear.

This used to be a tennis court for the Coast Guard station that was here. Now it catches our water for the barracks. It only runs through 2 filters and a UV light, so it smells a little weird. We use a lot of tea/Kool-aid/Crystal Light/Tang etc. mixes.

One of the cool things is that you get to see endangered species through the window. A Hawaiian Monk seal is sleeping about 20 feet away from the barracks.

This is the view from the southeast corner of the island to the northeast corner. As you can see, it's not that big! A few Black-footed albatross are sitting at the end of the runway.


ESPM said...


I was with the Mitsubishi group on Midway, July 2007. Have really missed your postings and glad to see you are up again. The brown spiders are a bummer. Are there any centipedes? Does Tern have simaler issues with trash washing ashore?

Peace out!


Anonymous said...

I loved reading your blog from Midway!! Happy to see you are back!!
I'm from Ca-Good luck!