Sunday, December 11, 2011

Pearl Harbor, Kahana, Eclipse, etc.

There was a lot happening this week on Midway.  The island Thai population had a holiday on Monday for the Thai King's Birthday, Wednesday was Pearl Harbor Day and our supply ship, the Kahana, came in, we started our major albatross banding season, a lunar eclipse, a nice snorkel on a beautiful day on Saturday, and topped it off with a boat ride today with the dolphins around again.

Most people don't know that Dec. 7, 1941 was an eventful day for Midway as well as Pearl Harbor.  Midway was attacked by Japanese ships on that day.  It was nowhere near the scale of the Pearl Harbor attack or the Battle of Midway 6 months later, but 2 Japanese ships shelled Midway.  First Lieutenant George Cannon was also killed that day, and became the first U.S. Marine to be awarded the Medal of Honor in WWII.  The story is in one of the photos below.

I've got more photos than usual, so I'll write more in the captions below.

This is the George H. Cannon Memorial in front of the building where he was mortally wounded.  He was the first U.S. Marine to recieve the Medal of Honor in World War II.  His story is engraved in the granite block below the U.S. flag and the U.S. Marine Corps flag (basically the same short story as in the next photo).

I left this photo at a little higher quality so you can double click on it and read a short summary of the attack on Midway and the George Cannon story.

We had the U.S. flag and the U.S. Navy flag at the Navy Memorial at half staff for Pearl Harbor Day.

I got up early for the lunar eclipse. It was cloudy for a lot of it, but it cleared up about 3:30 a.m. and I got a couple of photos.  The moon is just starting to come out of the total eclipse in this photo.

 The Kahana is bringing us more supplies.  It is still outside of the atoll in this photo.

Ann and Karen band a Black-footed albatross.  Most of the time we can put a band on them while they sit on the nest without having to pick them up.  We use a bucket lid to keep them from seeing the banding and from biting anything.

We brought our lunches over to Eastern Island so we didn't have to drive the boat back and forth.  Here's Ann, Nik, Karen, and an albatross.

The spinner dolphins came by to escort the boat on our way over to Eastern Island.

We decided to have a family style dinner at Capt. Brooks tavern.  We just carried our food over from the Clipper House. I won't introduce everyone around the table, but people who've been around recentlt may recognize a few faces.

 Here are a few convict tangs looking for food.  The water was really clear yesterday.  I didn't see anything out of the ordinary, and by ordinary I mean the usual amazing fish and coral.

Here are some nice reef fish from yesterday.  This (clockwise from the bright yellow one) is an oval butterflyfish, female spectacled parrotfish, ring tail surgeonfish, ornate butterflyfish, and a Hawaiian hogfish.

Here are two photos I took a couple of hours ago by putting my camera underwater from the boat.  I just randomly snapped the photos underwater.  I got about 6 or 7 decent ones out of 174.


Anonymous said...

Wow Pete those underwater pictures turned out great! -Patty

Anonymous said...

The dolphin photos are amazing! We were thinking of you as we watched the lunar eclipse, figured it would be great from Midway. penny

Anonymous said...

Terrific photos, the underwater shots! Thanks so much for your informative and beautiful blogposts. Victoria J

Anonymous said...

Lt. Cannon acted just way Marine Officers should--take care of your Marines before you take care of yourself. He basically gave up his life to save other men.

Semper Fi

Pete Leary said...

Thanks for the comments and thanks for reading the blog.

Anonymous said...

The grade school for military dependents was named in honor of Mr. Cannon. I attended and can still picture the bright white school from my back patio.