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23/12/2004: "PREPARING FOR A WATER LANDING - Kapingamarangi Atoll July 1969"

lagoonside (13k image)

The lagoon-side shows sand spilling in from the weather side. A narrow bridge connects two islands. About 600 'people of the sea' live what seems an ideal lifestyle of farming the land and catching fish.

Visitors are no longer allowed so as to preserve what is left of the ancient culture. The island's may now be a leper colony - or is that just a deliberate error-rumour in guide books to keep visitors away?

In any case it is a difficult place to reach with a supply ship calling for just a few hours every two months. We were on official business and flown courtesy of the US Navy from Agana, Guam in Grumman HU-16 aircraft which left us on the island for a week before transporting us to neighbouring Nukuoro Atoll for a similar period.


December 2004

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