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Author Topic: Nikumaroro Maps  (Read 9055 times)

Frank Hajnal

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Nikumaroro Maps
« on: February 17, 2015, 05:11:39 PM »

Since I was a kid I’ve always enjoyed looking at maps, so the Gardner Island maps shown in the last two offerings in the Preponderance of Evidence (POE) series have been a treat.  My guess is that the map shown in POE #20  based on the USS Bushnell survey—is that right?  I’m less sure about the POE #19 map —perhaps the N.Z. survey?

Also: 

I noticed in the POE #20 map, long sections of the reef are marked ‘awash at low water’.  My impression was that none of the reef was awash at low tide, that is all the way around the atoll the reef was more or less dry or only had puddles at low tide.  The reason I ask about this is that I’ve wondered  about Gallagher’s comment about the castaway, that he/she was separated from a grove of coconuts by impenetrable brush; this always seems odd to me if the castaway could walk on a non-awash reef at low tide, thus skirting the impenetrable brush, but if the markings on the map are correct then even at low tide the reef was not a ‘paved path’ around that brush.

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Craig Romig

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Re: Nikumaroro Maps
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2015, 10:05:00 PM »

I interpreted Gallagher's statements to mean that the coconut trees were surrounded by inpenetrable bush. However i do see what you are saying.  However didn't someone say that in places the beach disappears. I'm unsure if all of the reef is walkable. Maybe someone who's been on the island will stop by and sit us straight about walking the beach and reef completely around the island.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2015, 09:15:58 PM by Craig Romig »
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Nikumaroro Maps
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2015, 04:45:43 AM »

I enterpreted Gallagher's statements to mean that the coconut trees were surrounded by inpenetrable bush. However i do see what you are saying.  However didn't someone say that in places the beach disappears. I'm unsure if all of the reef is walkable. Maybe someone who's been on the island will stop by and sit us straight about walking the beach and reef completely around the island.

Please take a look at this rather crude Google search of TIGHAR's website based on "walk around island."

The search could be improved by putting quotation marks around "walk" and "around," but even without that refinement, the material you desire should turn up on the first page.

A second search might use "walk" and "beach."

We have a nice Google search box that is accessible from the "Search TIGHAR" tab at the top of every page on the Forum.  The "Search TIGHAR" page also lists a number of other means to fish for what you want in the ocean of data that TIGHAR has collected over 26 years of research.
LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
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Andrew M McKenna

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Re: Nikumaroro Maps
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2015, 09:06:51 AM »

It is possible to walk all the way around the island simply following the beach without walking on the reef flat at all.  If the tide is out, you can generally walk on the reef flat, pretty much all the way around. I suppose there may be places where it might be too uneven or too slippery, but all you have to do is go back to the beach and avoid it.  The SE end is more rocky than sandy, but certainly passable by foot, but not much of a reef flat down there.

There are two inlet passages that need to be crossed to complete the entire circuit.  Tatiman Passage is to the NW where the Village was, and Baureke Passage is the one to the south.  Baureke passage is most often open, and sometimes closed as it was in 2001.  Either way, it is a shallow crossing at high or low tide.

At high tide, Tatiman would be pretty much neck deep, so you'd basically be swimming, and between high and low tide, the current runs pretty strong through there, so low tide is really the only time you'd want to cross Tatiman on foot, and it is totally do-able, sharks and all. 

If you haven't seen Mark Smith's video of crossing the channel on Youtube, you should take a look.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PacL4n2Oy4c

Attached is a photo of the beach on the windward side near the 7 site at reasonably low tide, a photo of the landing channel at low tide to give you an idea of how wide the reef flat can be, and a photo of me walking on the reef flat at relatively low tide with the beach behind.

I hope that helps give you and idea of the variation in conditions.

Andrew
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Andrew M McKenna

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Re: Nikumaroro Maps
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2015, 09:08:18 AM »

You will probably enjoy this map of Gardner as well.

amck
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Frank Hajnal

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Re: Nikumaroro Maps
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2015, 06:25:01 PM »

Andrew, 

Thank you for that explanation of Nikumaroro geography, it was very helpful. And the pictures were worth a thousand words, as the saying goes.

So, walking along the beach or the reef flat was possible, and Gallagher’s ‘impenetrable belt of bush’ comment remains a non-sequitur.

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Andrew M McKenna

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Re: Nikumaroro Maps
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2015, 09:28:26 PM »

Maybe, maybe not.

If the cocos were inland, say in the middle of Nutiran as I believe the Arundel trees were, you might have to navigate into or through the scaevola that tends to grow along the beach, and that would seem to be an impenetrable belt of bush, sometimes taking 30 minutes to go 100 ft, and that is with a machete.

Certainly thinking about trying to get from the 7 site to the coco trees via the jungle would be a most difficult proposition.

Andrew

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Frank Hajnal

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Re: Nikumaroro Maps
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2015, 10:56:12 PM »

Yes, and all the more difficult for barefoot castaway, at least until he/she got his/her soles thickened up from walking about barefoot.  But on the other hand, according to the N.Z. survey map, the Arundel groves by the village looked to be out of the scrub and right by the lagoon shore (see attached)
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Andrew M McKenna

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Re: Nikumaroro Maps
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2015, 11:37:59 PM »

On the North side of the passage, see that belt called "Scrub" between the wild cocos and the beach?  That is the "impenetrable bush".  From the beach, you may not even be able to see that there are cocos in there.

Andrew
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Lauren Palmer

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Re: Nikumaroro Maps
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2015, 11:23:52 AM »

On the North side of the passage, see that belt called "Scrub" between the wild cocos and the beach?  That is the "impenetrable bush".  From the beach, you may not even be able to see that there are cocos in there.

Andrew
That's what I had thought:  She (and Fred) maybe had no idea there were any cocoanut trees (too busy landing the plane to notice them from the air, too)

Lauren
« Last Edit: February 19, 2015, 11:32:40 AM by Bruce Thomas »
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