Sunday, April 1, 2012

Trip to Kure Atoll

On Tuesday, I took a trip to Kure Atoll when they did the crew swap out.  I'd been there a couple of years ago on my way to Tern Island and wanted to get back to check on the progress of the invasive plant work.  It took the Kahana about 6 hours to get there.  I'm glad I took my anti-seasick medicine, because I probably would have been pretty queasy by the time we got there.  We got all the equipment and people switched out in about 4 hours.  Since we can't pull into the Midway harbor in the dark, we had to wait until Wednesday morning to come back in. It seemed like it was about a 3 day trip, with the 2 ship rides and the time on Kure, but was actually only 24 hours.  I've got more pics than usual, so I'll keep the text short this time.

Jim ties up the mooring lines as we leave Midway at sunrise.  At sunrise, you don't need much crowd control.  Only 3 people came to see the ship off.

Sunrise over Spit and Eastern Islands as we head out of the atoll.

 I've tried to get good flying fish pictures each time I've ridden on the Kahana.  I have yet to get any really clear ones.

 Here's a flying fish skimming across the surface.

This one isn't the clearest either, but you can see how big it's "flying" fins are.

 Green Island in Kure Atoll is barely visible in this photo on the horizon.  You can see why sea level rise is a bit of a concern in these parts.

Nalu, Julia, and I are taking the first load of buckets and gear to shore.

The dolphins came to escort us to the island.

There are a lot of buckets to swap out.

 More unloading and loading.

 This is the camp.  Storage buildings, bunkhouse, and outhouse on the left, old US Coast Guard building on the right.

 This is the new bunkhouse that they put up last year.  It's a bit more weatherproof than the tents that they used to use.
Kure has a big verbesina problem just like Midway.  They've had a year round camp, so they've been able to really knock it back.  It looks great now compared to the last time I was here.

This was a view of the same general area from back in June of 2009.  You can see that they've done a really nice job of geting rid of the verbesina. 

Back to Midway.  Here's a Laysan albatross preening one of the young Short-tailed albatross that has been coming showing up recently.

We had a medevac yesterday from a passing fishing boat.  It was really windy and choppy, but the swells were low so at least it wasn't as bad as the last one we did.  Sometimes I go out on the boat to pick up the patient, but yesterday I was the backup boat driver and stayed on the pier.  A US Coast Guard C-130 came out last night to bring the patient to Honolulu.


Seagull Steve said...

Wow, epic shot of the safeboat in the waves with the albatross. Cool to see some pictures of Kure, I hadn't seen any before.

Forest & Kim said...

Nice update Pete. Kure sure does look a lot less weedy these days. And the new buildings are nice.

Here's our images of Kure from 2001.

CassaP said...

Greetings, Pete. Nice post, as always. Especially liked the dophin escort pic. Regards, Cassandra P.

Nellie Northern said...

Pete, great Shots.
Did you get your camera back?
How about the "Easter Monument" photo?
Nelson & Mona