I've been in Honolulu for about 2 months waiting to get out to Tern Island, and I finally got a chance to get out there last week for a day. The Kahana (supply ship) was bringing up a work crew and I can't be there permanently until Nov. 10th, so I took a ride up. On the way up we stopped by Nihoa, the first island in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. People need special permission to go onto the island so it's really special to get there. The crew we dropped off had to check on the endangered/endemic Nihoa finches and Nihoa Millerbirds. I got a chance go on the island for about 20 minutes. There was a native Hawaiian settlement there up through the 1700's so there are ruins of terraces and other interesting archeological items. Nihoa is important in Hawaiian culture so a cultural monitor accompanies the groups that go to Nihoa to perform a spiritual ceremony and make sure that things are not disturbed.
Tern island is small. It's only about 30 acres, we catch rain for our drinking water, and we use mostly solar power (generator backup). We do have internet, but no TV. I'm just giving you a brief preview and you'll get more of the story on my later posts when I actually get out there.
Here's a picture I took of the Kahana at Midway. For those of you who watch "Lost", it is the ship that got blown up in season 4. It was a 6 day trip to Tern and back. Great food by the way!
A view of Nihoa from the southwest.Looking east down the Tern Island runway. The barracks are on the right.
As you can see, the barracks are right on the water, so it's a nice view for the volunteers (my room looks at the other barracks rooms).