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Rongerik Atoll

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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I'd Pick More Daisies

I'd Pick More Daisies
Nadine Stair, age 85

If I had my life to live over,
       	I'd try to make more mistakes next time.
            	I would relax. I would limber up.
      I would be sillier than I have on this trip.
      I would be crazier. I would be less hygienic.
   I would take more chances, I would take more trips.
  I would climb more mountains, swim more rivers, 
		and watch more sunsets.
I would burn more gasoline. I would eat more ice cream and less beans.
  I would have more actual troubles and fewer imaginary ones.
         You see, I am one of those people who lives
    prophylactically and sensibly and sanely, 
	hour after hour, day after day.
               Oh, I have had my moments
  And if I had it to do over again, I'd have more of them.
        In fact, I'd try to have nothing else. 
	   Just moments,one after another.
      Instead of living so many years ahead each day.
     I have been one of those people who never go anywhere
    without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a gargle, a
		raincoat, and a parachute.
    If I had to do it over again, I would go places and do things.
                       I'd travel lighter than I have.
      If I had my life to live over, I would start barefooted
         earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall.
           I would play hooky more. I wouldn't make such good grades
		      except by accident.
                   I would ride on merry-go-rounds.
                        I'd pick more daisies!