Sunday, April 17, 2016

Arrival

I arrived on Sand Island Tuesday night along with 16 other passengers on a fancy chartered jet.  The flight was timed so as to arrive on Midway one hour past sunset thereby avoiding having the plane colliding with thousands of soaring albatross. It worked!  In fact, we didn't even hit any Bonin Petrels either, which is amazing given how many of these nocturnal birds were in the air that night. After landing we were given quick a quick briefing on the essentials, such as what do to if the there was a tsunami alert, and then taken to our quarters in golf carts, the drivers continually swerving to avoid running over albatrosses on the small paths we drove upon.

Travelling on the island is done on foot, by golf cart or bicycle


Over the next couple of days I took in my new surroundings but had a hard time making much sense of it.  There are just so disparate facets to Midway, each of which telling a completely different story and forcing the observer to confront many different realities. Midway is: a sunken volcano sitting in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, three islands (Sand, Eastern, and Spit) enclosed within a huge coral reef, part of a US Marine National Monument, a giant seabird colony that hosts over three-quarters of the world's entire population of Laysan albatross, a former US naval air station with many buildings in various states of disintegration, an important historical site that played a key role in the World War II, and a unique and peculiar community composed of US Fish and Wildlife Service Staff, employees of Chugach Corporation (more than half of which are men from Thailand) that live together in this faraway outpost of civilization.

Laysan Albatross on the Parade Grounds




I wasn't sure how much I'd be inspired to write about my experiences here on Midway. Blogging, I thought, was kinda passe and I figured there is just so much information out there and who really needs more?  But after a few days here in nearly total confusion I am convinced that there is an important story to be told, even if I don't know what it is yet! So if you're interested, stay tuned and join me in trying to make sense of it all.

Midway was an important Navy base during WWII

4 comments:

  1. Glad you arrived safely, I will be following. Looks like a very interesting place.

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  2. put me down as follower rob!

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  3. When you say, 'fancy chartered jet', does it mean you were fed champagne & caviar? :) Glad you have arrived. I bet Petrels and Albatrosses are happy!

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  4. Will do Rich-bey. Look for occasional updates on Facebook and Google+

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