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Rongerik Atoll
12/29/2011

Looking out to the ocean.


Rongerick was one of the best atolls we had ever been to. Unpopulated and unspoiled. In 1946, this is where the Bikinians were brought to live in preparation for the nuclear testing. There were 23 tests at Bikini and 43 tests at Anewetak atoll, 180 miles to the west of Bikini. Because of the taboo against Rongerick, people rarely come here so the animals above and below water have flourished. But on the north east island, the one which was once populated, the rats have flourished. They all have the normal number of legs, eyes ears etc and their fur looks normal. The rats eat into fallen coconuts. Coconuts absorb radiation from the ground. If the rats are healthy, maybe it is a verification of the finding of government agencies that the radiation problem has mitigated.

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Rongerik Atoll
12/29/2011, Marshall Islands

Three glass floats on this beach is a record find.

We snorkeled on the coral heads inside of the lagoon. The coral was plentiful but in some areas it was dusted with sand from the nearby barrier reef. The fish populations were not as abundant as we had hoped but the number of groupers were greater than anywhere else we have visited in the Marshalls. The water is so warm and clear there is not much plankton to support life inside the lagoon. On the outside of the windward side of the atolls, where the plankton nourishment is greater, the reefs are more vibrant. There is enough plankton to feed the giant clams. The largest of the giant clams in more than 3 feet across; nearly as big as the largest on the Great Barrier Reef of Australia.
Still, the diving is better in the Bahmas and better at a few selected spots on a remote atoll in the South Pacific.

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AT THE END Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, 'Wow! What a Ride! And I still have my Arizona driver license!! '