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Showing posts from June, 2011

Suwarrow...isolation, manta rays, sharks and lovely manners....

The beach on Anchorage  From Palmerston Island  we sailed for two days to reach Suwarrow…a remote atoll, of enormous beauty and pristine condition, a Marine National Park, unreachable by any boat which is unable to navigate the “clearing” through the treacherous reef. I had been passionate about wanting to step foot on Suwarrow after reading Tom Neale’s book “An Island to Oneself” and having spoken at length on Palmerston Island to Stella Neale, his daughter, about the man, and the father. The "monument"outside Tom Neale's shack After a tortuous two days at sea on the ghastly "rust bucket" of a vessel we were "cruising" on Suwarrrow loomed on the horizon. The island is uninhabited, except for the ranger and his family, who live, fairly much like Tom Neale, above the cyclone shelter. They are visited irregularly by passing ships with supplies;  most of their “treats” are provided by passing round-the-world sailors

Palmerston Atoll: Beautiful island, wonderful people…and lots of coconut….

Palmerston Atoll in the ahoy! On the third day after leaving Rarotonga and two nights of seasickness, little sleep, cracked heads and shins on the exposed hatches of the never ending rocking “rust bucket”, little food and increasing concern about the seaworthiness of the vessel, we glimpsed a sliver of land on the horizon.  Palmerston!   We crowded onto the upper deck to view the sliver increasing in size as we got closer.      The captain had briefed us previously that the islanders of Palmerston knew nothing about tourism and he had had a nasty alteraction previously with one of the elders, Simon, about the visitors going to the island.  It seems that Simon also had a long memory.  When we were finally shipped ashore by the islanders who greeted us with huge smiles, hearty waves and much excitement, Simon addressed the passenger group as a whole, explaining that the captain was not welcome on the island…but that we were.  The captain had broken a well under