After 5 days at sea, Alessandra called ‘Land Ho’ as Palmyra popped up on the horizon. Palmyra is an atoll located 1000nm south of Hawaii, it is very flat, green and surrounded by coral reef. It is also one of the wettest places in the world; it rains a lot here! We were greeted by a small friendly team of 5 working on the protected nature reserve, who seemed stoked to see some new faces and proceeded to guide us into the stunning lagoon. We dropped anchor, took off our lifejackets and began inflating the two zodiacs, ready to adventure into the wild and wonderful underwater world that Palmyra boasts. With the hot and humid environment, it was incredible to actually be in the ocean, the same ocean that we had been staring at from above for the past week. The crew found themselves still swaying with the motion of rolling waves from the journey south, trying to adjust to Sea Dragon now laying perfectly still on anchor. We are the only boat anchored here, there is no noise pollution, no light pollution, and no air pollution. The stars are brighter, the sound of nature sings without competition and David barely notices his asthma.
Day two we were fortunate enough to be granted permission to explore Strawn Island on foot. It has been 6days since any of us had walked on land so the excitement was high. The crew decided that it should be renamed ‘crab island’ as there were thousands of crabs, from bright red hermits to vibrant blue coconut crabs. The island is roughly … in size, completely wild, with only a few structures from world war 2 in wreck, and sadly plastic bottles, shoes, fishing buoys and nets washed up onshore. The trees were filled with nesting boobie birds and their very fluffy, very cute little chicks. Baby black tip reef sharks and peppered moray eels swam amongst us as we trekked through the shallows waters. It was incredible, Palmyra never fails to amaze each and every visitor lucky enough to see it.
On our final day we managed to hit the 7th and final snorkel site ‘crazy corals’. The name certainly did it justice, it was crazy cool. So with sun kissed skin and beaming smiles, the crew are ready for the journey back home. Shout out to the Palmyra shore team for the delicious coconuts they shared with us this morning before departure. Our last little taste of Palmyra was so very sweet before raising anchor and setting sail north for Oahu.