Midway Atoll

Here they are.  I think the photos got a little out of order when they loaded in.  But I think - in time - you'll forgive me.

My ride: Gulfstream 2.  Aw yeah.

Riding the back of the tandem bike, playing photographer.  I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

Turtle Beach!  And a bonus monk seal.  Can you see him?

Look close and you can see Eastern and Spit Islands in the background.  But it's mostly us.

The annual last Easter ceremony is held here.  As Midway is 140 miles from the International Date Line, there's no other inhabited land to its west.

Lots of debris.  Albatross don't care.

Lots of this.  More than half the island is off limits to humans.  Wildlife only.

Lunch!!  Get your bowl.  Add rice, meat, veggies, soup.  Enjoy.

Adam's rig.  Although I'm not sure I'd feel all that comforted if this thing showed up.

Clouds rolling in... and our tandem bike.

The lookout point - during WWII, soldiers would have two day stints out here watching for the enemy.

Anti-submarine net floats.  Two of these (holding a sub net) would get pulled apart to let a ship into the harbor, then close behind it.  To keep the bad guys out.

Birds.  There was a lot of this.

The aforementioned submarine net (metal rings).  The arrows point to places where shrapnel left marks during on December 7, 1941.

Me - standing in the lookout.  Happy because I don't have to be there for two whole days.

"Captain Brooks."  The old Officers' Club, now the bar.  Open MWF 7-9p.  Still decorated from Karen the Volunteer's birthday party the previous week.

More birds.

One of two short tailed albatross on the island.  I didn't meet the other one.  And they haven't met each other.  This guy was much bigger than the Laysan.

Another lost soul.  Somwhere between Canada and his destination this Brant got blown off course.

Brunch!  Same operation as lunch, but with bacon & eggs.

Dan the Volunteer, resucing the petrel that tried to go bowling.

Stop sitting on me!!

This was at the bowling alley.  These signs were on every sink (and toilet) on the island.  Somwhere there's a picture of me taking this picture, looking busted for being in the mens' bathroom.

If it's not obvious that you're drunk, we'll still serve you.

Scoring by hand.  We needed a little help, which came in the form of Dan - one of his many talents.

Games - free; shoes - free; socks - required.

A Blackfoot pair.  Very regal.

A Blackfoot and chick - funny that the Blackfoot chicks are white and the Laysan chicks are black.

Mating dance.  The one on the left is making a ferry horn noise and the one on the right (on his toes) is making a horse whinney noise and shaking his head.

What you looking at Willis?

Gear down!

They're so graceful in the air, but landing is a bit of a struggle.  Feet pop out, then generally the momentum carries them into a tumble.

Just a few weeks old and already curious about the world.

Skiing with the wind is so much easier.  That's the boy, getting buff.

There's the boy again, being silly on his solo bike.  This is the view from his living room window.

Came across this guy on a walk one evening.  He's actually half the length of a 20oz water bottle.  I zoomed, don't worry.

All hands club.  Pool, shuffleboard, foosball, a couple of bars, and a stage for the local musicians.

Long range.  Watch your step.

Love birds.

These are the Laysan Albatross.  They make up most of the island's inhabitants - to the tune of 1.5 million.

Spice house.  They grow their own - and use them liberally.

Greenhouse.  Lots of greens and tomatoes and peppers. One guy runs this operation.  It was pretty impressive.

Walking albatross.  Definitely more of a waddle than a walk.

Wyland was out over Christmas or New Year's and painted this mural on the side of Charlie Hotel.  Adam's living room is about at the monk seal's tail.

You know what's a really good idea?  Climb on top of a four foot bollard in 25mph winds.

The old abandoned dining facility.  The Navy was here through the Cold War - where they had nearly 5000 people on the island.  Now it's run by Fish & Wildlife.

The old laundry facilities.  With a new guard.

It really looks like they just said "ok, we're done" and walked out.  It's something of a living museum.

The birds preen each other.  It's very sweet.

Albatross footprints on the beach.

No hiding the crash landing this guy had.

A Blackfoot and his skepticism.  The birds that were further out "of town" and away from people were more skittish and agressive.

Last sunset.

An albatross tribute.

These guys are in full dance mode here.  It's non stop.

The stink eye.

One of the most common pieces of debris is lighters.  Lots of lighter art around.

A petrel hole.  These stinkin' birds live underground during the day.  So if you're walking along, minding your own business, you'll sink right into one.  And then you have to dig the bird out.  I got two of them and then refused to go off the path.

More birds.  More chicks.

More abandoned buildings.

A chunk of the Trans Pacific Cable.  It went from California to Hawaii to Midway to Japan - President Roosevelt sent the first message which took 12 minutes to arrive.

Lots of asbestos and lead cleaning going on too.

The bowling alley, from outside.

And the mall... Ship's Store, All Hands Club, Library, Barber Shop, Theater, Gym...

Entrance to the All Hands Club - in addition to pool and such, there's also a dedicated Poker room.

Barber Shop.  This is open a few days a week.

Gooney Bird!

Island pea-patch.  Most of this will find its way to the cafeteria.

Herbie the Hybrid.  Half Laysan, half Blackfoot.  And beautiful.

Herbie walks like a Blackfoot, but tries to dance like a Laysan - neither are convincing.  But it's fascinating how those behaviors are engrained and not learned.

Clipper House... the cafeteria.

Just soaring by the beach.  No big deal.

The signs for the volunteers' last bash - one in English, one in Thai.  All the support staff were Thai Nationals.

Water takeoff.  They somehow hover, then waddle a few steps, and they're off.

Tandom kayaking under the cargo pier.

Needle fish!

Couple of dorks, having a blast.  This was before we tried to surf the waves on North Beach and got dumped in the drink.

Clipper House - inside.

Sunset near the runway.

Ship's Store - open 7 hours a week.  Get all your essentials here - like boxed wine.

And pickled mudfish!

Volunteers' Farewell Bash.  This petrel took up residence on Jim's foot.

This is Doorstop.  He lived just outside the front door of the volunteers' house.  The glow stick is so no one stepped on him during the party.  He's totally crashed out.

Karen on the slackline that Jim and Adam set up between the Finger Piers.

Jim on the slackline - he eventually made it all the way across.

Adam on the line.  Somewhere there's a picture of me falling into the water.

The birds put their back feathers up to stay cool and catch the breeze.

Oh, hi.

Adam & Jim setting up the slackline.

Somehow this bird ended up with two chicks.  There are plenty of female-female pairs, and each will get knocked up.  Usually they boot one egg out, because it's unlikely they'll be able to provide for both.

The building on the right is the old Seaplane Hangar.  The divets in the concrete are from the bombings on December 7th, 1941.

The leftover Alter from what used to be the church.  I guess it's really bad religious luck to tear one of these down.

Poor Gumby.  At least he was loved.

The USS Yorktown is sunk a few miles off shore. Not sure how this mug made it to the alter.

What's left of the Trans Pacific Cable Co. buildings.  The one that's fixed up is the Superintendent's house, the one in the back was the workbee housing.

Here's some potable water!

Herbie again.  We actually saw him tending to a chick, so he must be the cool uncle.

The interior of the G2, headed home.