20 August 2012
Well, it seems to have come too fast but today is the 20th – our 7th and last day we are permitted to stay in Palmyra. Yesterday we were invited guests of Amanda, the refuge manager and were also joined by Eric and Anna for a late afternoon snorkel at “Crazy Corals.” Though it was overcast, the water was still amazingly clear and we saw some new fishes. Though we missed the Eagle Ray, we did see a nice white-tip reef shark that was cruising for dinner. Amanda also had gathered a few operculum’s from atop some coral – that had been deposited there by eagle rays. She also called them “heart of the sea” (I think) and explained how the snail uses the swirled flat shell as its protective cover when inside its shell. It is one of the few shells we are allowed to take from Palmyra as no other animal can use it as a home. Piper knows about these from Australia and they make a beautiful shell for a necklace. The plane landed today with a new batch of recruits and is departing as I write with some staff that had been here since May. They are ready to go home. Amanda’s assistant was able to procure our new GoPro underwater housing from Hawaii and it arrived on the plane today. We signed the Palmyra Yacht Club wall and said goodbye. We’ve just deflated and stowed our dinghy and are just doing a final check of the weather before we go. IT’s 200 miles – upwind and against the current to Fanning but if we leave late afternoon today, we should get there in the morning – day after tomorrow. It’s been a great place to visit and we’re happy we had such a great time in our first landfall of paradise.