Photos from a rarely seen paradise

In the wake of John Bruno’s report from the Galapagos, I bring you happier news from the Equatorial Pacific, nearly five thousand miles farther west: there are still wildernesses on Earth.

I was lucky enough to spend May and June in the engine room of a sailboat heading south from Honolulu, as crew with the Sea Education Association. After crossing more than a thousand miles on the open ocean, we rested for a few days in the lagoon at Palmyra Atoll, then sailed for Kingman Reef, a sandspit in the middle of an empty horizon. It’s a trap for unsuspecting ships, and has only ever been reached by a handful of human visitors. Below the surface are some of Earth’s most pristine coral reefs, home to more sharks than I’ve ever seen, and other absolutely astounding wildlife…

looking up at the ship's rigging

celestial navigation



rope swing on the lagoon

chow time

not a bad beach

wacky-colored clam

wacky-colored clam

stormy weather

up close with the reef

just another rainbow

little blue clam nestled next to a HUGE clam

shark on the reef

the ship's bowsprit

diving into a whirlpool of fish

bright coral

bright coral

our ship, safely back in Honolulu's harbor

photos by Zena Cardman, Mike Lipnick, and Caleb Kruse

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One Response to “Photos from a rarely seen paradise”

  1. John Bruno says:

    I love the photos Zena! Paradise is alive and well.

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