Monday, November 3, 2008

Quick Trip to Tern

Ok, here is the new blog! Thanks for waiting. By the way, I won't be doing this daily because it takes a lot of time, so maybe once a week or so. We'll see.

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).


Anonymous said...

Looking forward to your continuing adventures and your photos in "THE TERN ISLAND TIMES."


Anonymous said...

Hey Pete,
You are missing the first winter storm in ND-- wish I was on Tern Island (or Midway) :)

Seagull Steve said...

Glad youre keeping up on the blogs Pete. I just sent in applications for volunteer work on Midway, Laysan and Tern, so if Im lucky I might see you out there.

Shammickite said...

Hi Pete: I followed your adventures on Midway and now I'm tracking you down on Tern... it all sounds so interesting.
PS remember your posts about picking up all the plastic jetsam on Midway, and I told you that I picked up plastic every day on the beach in Florida on vavcatio last year... well, I'm in Florida again, same beach, and there's not a spot of plastic to be seen!
I guess it all floated over to Midawy.

Kristin said...

Hey, Pete! Have a great time at Tern and FFS! I'm looking forward to getting back out to Midway in December for 2 weeks and then hopefully in April for 4 months or so! I hope at some point I do have a chance to visit FFS, Kure, Pearl and Hermes, etc. - I'm very jealous of your trip on the Kahana! I should set up a blog sometime on our time at Midway, but we're always so busy . . .

ohbaldguy said...

Keep up the good work Pete. I'll keep looking at both blogs.