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Author Topic: Visitors to Niku  (Read 15919 times)

Chris Johnson

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Visitors to Niku
« on: May 13, 2010, 07:09:20 AM »

Browsing the web i cam accross this

http://www.pacific-expeditions.com/

Looks like you may have visitors whilst on NIKU
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Andrew M McKenna

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Re: Visitors to Niku
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2010, 07:25:31 AM »

We've known about that trip for a while now, and have talked with their leader Graham Wragg.  I think they are taking some European Ham radio enthusiasts up to Kanton and some other islands so they can transmit and log those communications.  They may be the next visitors to provide some relief to the Kanton islanders who have been having a food supply issue - see the post on Kanton called Modern Day Kanton Castaways

We'll be watching for them.

Andrew
« Last Edit: May 13, 2010, 07:27:44 AM by Andrew M McKenna »
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Ted G Campbell

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Re: Visitors to Niku
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2010, 07:26:10 PM »

Ric,
I know that you have your hands full with the coming trip, but has any thought been given to carry out any radio transmission experiments with the group that may be in the area while you are there?  Can they transmit on the same freq. as AE?  Could we pick up a skip in Florida (Betty’s notebook)? Etc.

Ted Campbell
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Tim Collins

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Re: Visitors to Niku
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2010, 06:34:41 AM »

Hmmmm...  TIGHAR venturing into reenactment, now there's a thought. Ric would have to get a polka-dot  tie.


Actually, its not a bad idea, if only for the fun of it. I don't think you really could prove much, give how many differing and unreproducable factors are involved.

t
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Alan Williams

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Re: Visitors to Niku
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2010, 09:10:43 AM »


Not that it would be a particularly materially useful exercise, but just wondering if on any of the Niku expeditions anyone from the TIGHAR team stayed overnight on the island? I understand what would have been customary would be for everyone to return to the ship for food and sleep, just wondering if anyone thought they would see what it felt like to stay overnight on Niku? Naturally one would need a way to stay clear of the crabs (hammock?) and other critters but might be interesting to actually spend an evening the way AE/FN might have.
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Daniel Paul Cotts

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Re: Visitors to Niku
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2010, 11:12:45 AM »

http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Expeditions/NikuIIII/NikuIIIIdailies2.html

Short story is that some did. They were bothered by crabs.
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Andrew M McKenna

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Re: Visitors to Niku
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2010, 05:09:05 PM »

Over the three expeditions that I've participated in - 2001, 2007, 2010 - I've stayed ashore twice, and others stayed ashore in previous expeditions.  In 1997, several folks including Tom King and John Clauss were temporarily marooned ashore for several days when the surf got too dangerous to use the landing channel due to the typhoons that were brewing in the Pacific.

I stayed ashore - or became one of the "sand people" as we say, once in 2001, and once in 2010.  Both times were memorable experiences in multiple ways from the pure beauty of being ashore in such a remote spot on the beach at sunset and sunrise, to the sentimental imagined experience of AE and FN doing the same, to the practical side of simply getting some sleep in a place where doing so isn't easy.  Yes, the crabs are interested and they seem to be able to smell you from some distance and come in from all sides to investigate, but in the end, it really isn't much different than any other camping trip with challenges from predators, be they mosquitos, bears, or crabs - you deal with them.

In 2001, I "slept" in a makeshift hammock basically in the bush of the 7 site thankfully created by Jim Morrissey out of commercial fishing net that had washed up on the beach.  The crabs tried their best to come at me directly, and I could can hear them clicking and scuttling about most of the night.   Crabs, not being bestowed with the largest of brains, couldn't figure out how to get to me by going up that tree, over that branch, follow that rope, and back down the netting....  I smugly watched them from my perch as some 100 or so crabs clinging to scaevola sumps patiently waited for me to become more accessible.  The folks who slept on the beach fared worse in terms of close encounters, but I don't think either got more sleep.

During this last trip, Mark Smith and I slept- er - stayed at the 7 site for a night.  Mark wanted to capture the sunset and sunrise on film, and it wasn't smart for him to be there alone, so I happily volunteered and went with him.  We built a nice bonfire on the beach - gleefully burning a large pile of dried scaevola that the crew had dragged 100 yards out there as part of the clearing the 7 site - had a nice dinner complete with chicken with rice, a few cookies, and a few Fiji Bitters to wash it all down.  Mark built a smaller campfire to capture the AE/FN moment at sunset, and in an instant, as sunset at the equator doesn't last long, it was basically very dark.  On came the head lamps.  We each pitched a hammock right at the 7 site on top of the dig as that was quite open except for the trees, and had a nice breeze.  The crabs were there, but not as plentiful as being in the bush, or at the beach as in 2001, and I think this was primarily a factor of the 7 site being a much larger open area than in the past. This time, we got some sleep, such as sleep can be for someone not used to a hammock, until 4:30 am when a tropical downpour arrived and completely soaked us.  I snoozed for a while after that lying on the ground wrapped in my poncho on top of some of the soft pads we brought for kneeling while digging.  Only a few crabs came to visit, but I heard them coming and was able to intercept and relocate them with the 'ol crab fastball.  Was up bright and early to see the sunrise feeling as fresh as a poached fish.....  Another day at the 7 site.  I was happy to get back to the Naia for a shower and cold libation at the end of the day.

So, as you can see, staying ashore is not a death sentence if you approach it with a good attitude, a superior brain, and some technology.  Being there when one is weak, injured, and without much technology would not be particularly fun.  For that scenario, read the first few pages of Tom King's book "Thirteen Bones".

Andrew McKenna

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Alan Williams

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Re: Visitors to Niku
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2010, 07:12:54 PM »

Andrew,

Thanks for the thoughtful reply. Beautifully written. Yep,  you captured - and lived - what I was trying to express with: "Both times were memorable experiences in multiple ways from the pure beauty of being ashore in such a remote spot on the beach at sunset and sunrise, to the sentimental imagined experience of AE and FN doing the same". Sounds like a great little adventure you had. And who could resist looking out on the Niku sunset with a fire going just as AE/FN might have done so long ago. Thanks for the great post.
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Re: Visitors to Niku
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2010, 07:37:47 AM »

We've known about that trip for a while now, and have talked with their leader Graham Wragg.  I think they are taking some European Ham radio enthusiasts up to Kanton and some other islands so they can transmit and log those communications.  They may be the next visitors to provide some relief to the Kanton islanders who have been having a food supply issue - see the post on Kanton called Modern Day Kanton Castaways

We'll be watching for them.

Andrew

Hi,

Is it EXACTLY known what radio equipment was on board of the Electra ?

Regards,

Rudolf.
Tenno heika banzai.
 
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Bruce Thomas

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Re: Visitors to Niku
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2010, 09:23:47 AM »

Quote
We've known about that trip for a while now, and have talked with their leader Graham Wragg.  I think they are taking some European Ham radio enthusiasts up to Kanton and some other islands so they can transmit and log those communications.  They may be the next visitors to provide some relief to the Kanton islanders who have been having a food supply issue - see the post on Kanton called Modern Day Kanton Castaways

We'll be watching for them.

The Ukrainian amateur radio DXpedition to Kanton Island that had been planned in the May-June timeframe fell through when their ship's engine had problems about 120nm from the island.  A brave comment from one of the Ukrainian hams says they'll try again in September 2010.  See their blog at Pacific Odyssey 2010 for details.
LTM,

Bruce
TIGHAR #3123R
 
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Visitors to Niku
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2010, 11:56:50 AM »

The Southern Cross did not have permission to enter the Phoenix Islands Protected Area.  Had they shown up at Kanton they would not have been permitted ashore. Had they shown up at Niku our Kiribati Customs representatives had instructions to turn them away.  When we got back to Apia on June 14 the ship was there in the harbor.
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