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Author Topic: FAQ: Crabs & sleeping... and Premature Demise on Gardner  (Read 25359 times)

Ric Gillespie

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Re: FAQ: Crabs and sleeping on Niku
« Reply #30 on: January 12, 2011, 11:02:05 AM »

Question for expedition members past or present, how did you far regards rats?

The rats have never been a problem for us.  Around the abandoned village they're very shy.  At the Seven Site they're much bolder. Typically a hundred or more Strawberry Hermit Crabs come scuttling out of the bush at lunch time to make off with any crumbs that get dropped. It's not uncommon for a half dozen rats to show up to mug the crabs and steal the crumbs. It's quite a show.

The New Zealand Survey in 1938/39 had a terrible rat problem but I suspect it was due to the drought that was going on at that time.
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Chris Johnson

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Re: FAQ: Crabs and sleeping on Niku
« Reply #31 on: January 12, 2011, 11:37:34 AM »

Yes thinking about it a drought would make the rats less shy and more in need of food.
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Nancy Marilyn Gould

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Re: FAQ: Crabs and sleeping on Niku
« Reply #32 on: January 12, 2011, 08:11:43 PM »

Gabe:

Thanks for asking this question.  This was another one I meant to ask.  I was the one who started the thread about "How did the castaways build fires?"  I've also wondered about "How did the castaways sleep with all the crabs?". 

It just seems like that island was such a harsh environment, I'd be amazed if AE lasted a week let alone a few months. 

Maybe the reason the navy pilots doing the flyover never saw anything is that there was nothing left to see.  The plane had been washed into the ocean, and the castaways were already dead.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: FAQ: Crabs and sleeping on Niku
« Reply #33 on: January 12, 2011, 08:33:01 PM »

Maybe the reason the navy pilots doing the flyover never saw anything is that there was nothing left to see.  The plane had been washed into the ocean, and the castaways were already dead.

If so, then who was the castaway who left all those fish and bird bones and artifacts at the Seven Site?
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Mark Petersen

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Re: FAQ: Crabs and sleeping on Niku
« Reply #34 on: January 15, 2011, 11:29:36 PM »

And who sent all of those radio transmissions that Tighar has documented as coming from around Niku?  

Getting back to the topic of crabs and sleeping.  I think most of us readers have been fascinated by the huge coco crabs and hermit crabs and have possibly given them more credit than they deserve.  If I recall correctly, wasn't it Bevington who said that he and some Gilbertese slept on the ground at Niku?  I assume that they were able to sleep okay although they probably had to get up and fend some off periodically during the night.  I'm guessing that a Castaway would do the same and probably get used to them after awhile.  I think that they are probably easier to deal with than the Bears that I've had to fend off in the middle of the night when backpacking in the Sierra Nevada's.  I'd take sleeping around Coco Crabs over Bears anytime.  
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Chris Johnson

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Re: FAQ: Crabs and sleeping on Niku
« Reply #35 on: January 16, 2011, 03:15:01 AM »

If I recall correctly, wasn't it Bevington who said that he and some Gilbertese slept on the ground at Niku?  I assume that they were able to sleep okay although they probably had to get up and fend some off periodically during the night.  I'm guessing that a Castaway would do the same and probably get used to them after awhile.  

Indeed they did but the Gilbertese slept around the Europeans

See link below Thursday, October 14th

http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Documents/Bevington_Diary.html

Interesting to read that when they ran out of Kerosene for light the crabs became more of a problem!
« Last Edit: January 16, 2011, 03:16:49 AM by Chris Johnson »
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: FAQ: Crabs and sleeping on Niku
« Reply #36 on: January 16, 2011, 07:11:17 AM »

The bears on Niku are extremely shy.  We've never even seen one.
In our experience, coconut crabs are not a threat to sleepers.  The smaller land crabs and Strawberry Hermit crabs are much bolder.  We found that they could be diverted by distracting them with garbage.  Doesn't take much. A few empty Coke cans keeps them busy but the noise tends to keep you awake (clink, clink, clink).
Note: I get this information second hand from those of our group who have stayed overnight on the island. I haven't.
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Chris Johnson

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Re: FAQ: Crabs and sleeping on Niku
« Reply #37 on: January 16, 2011, 07:21:53 AM »

The smaller land crabs and Strawberry Hermit crabs are much bolder.  We found that they could be diverted by distracting them with garbage.  Doesn't take much. A few empty Coke cans keeps them busy but the noise tends to keep you awake (clink, clink, clink).
Note: I get this information second hand from those of our group who have stayed overnight on the island. I haven't.

So this could (i know shouldn't realy speculate) account for the number of fire features.  Cook and move on leaving something for the Land and Strawberry Hermit crabs.  As opposed to a ring of fire to protect one self from the crabs.
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Mark Petersen

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Re: FAQ: Crabs and sleeping on Niku
« Reply #38 on: January 16, 2011, 02:48:31 PM »

Indeed they did but the Gilbertese slept around the Europeans

See link below Thursday, October 14th

http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Documents/Bevington_Diary.html

Interesting to read that when they ran out of Kerosene for light the crabs became more of a problem!

I had read that before and I've always wondered if sleeping in a circle wasn't also a form of self protection for the Gilbertese.  Sleeping in a circle probably helps to ensure that crabs might be a problem from only one direction.  I for one would probably want to sleep with my back to the outside of the circle so that the things that I value the most like my face, eyes and fingers wouldn't be the first thing to come in contact with a hungry crab.  A sole castaway or two wouldn't have this advantage though.  

Good find about the lamps helping to keep the Coco's away.  I had forgotten about that sentence and it helps to explain why a Castaway would set so many fires.

It's also interesting to note that Bevington never writes about waking in the middle of the night to brush off a crab, but then why would he, he has the benefit of sleeping in the circle.  

« Last Edit: January 16, 2011, 06:39:04 PM by Mark Petersen »
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Mark Petersen

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Re: FAQ: Crabs and sleeping on Niku
« Reply #39 on: January 16, 2011, 02:57:22 PM »

The bears on Niku are extremely shy.  We've never even seen one.
In our experience, coconut crabs are not a threat to sleepers.  The smaller land crabs and Strawberry Hermit crabs are much bolder.  We found that they could be diverted by distracting them with garbage.  Doesn't take much. A few empty Coke cans keeps them busy but the noise tends to keep you awake (clink, clink, clink).
Note: I get this information second hand from those of our group who have stayed overnight on the island. I haven't.

So it sounds like for a person who is both healthy and mobile, the crabs are really more of a nuisance than anything else.  Our castaway would probably be fairly terrified during the first few days, but after the weeks and possibly months that is postulated that she lived there, she would probably come to view them as a nuisance also, and would probably be able to sleep fairly well during the night.  Until that is, she came face to face in the middle of the night with the rare and much dreaded Niku Black Bear....  :D
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Harbert William Davenport

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H. Wm. (Bill) Davenport
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Bill Mangus

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Re: FAQ: Crabs & sleeping... and Premature Demise on Gardner
« Reply #41 on: November 10, 2017, 07:09:05 AM »

Don't expect to sleep - anywhere - after viewing this ;D
Bill Mangus
Researcher #3054SP
 
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