We originally were schedule to go to Christmas Island, now we are going to Fanning Island instead.....
Fun Facts...Tabuaeran, also known as Fanning Island or Fanning Atoll is one of the Line Islands of the central Pacific Ocean, and part of Kiribati. By any measure, Fanning Island is one of the most remote places on earth, an isolated speck in the vast South Pacific well over 1,000 miles south of Hawaii and more than 500 miles north of Tahiti. Fanning is part of the Republic of Kiribati, and its capital, Tarawa, lies far to the west, more than 2,000 miles away, with nothing but open water in between. The 1,200 residents of Fanning exist amicably in the dreamy, time-honored fashion of South Pacific paradises.
A handsome, brown-skinned people, they are polite, gentle and shy. They live in grass shacks, or, more accurately, shacks of coconut fronds and pandanus leaves. The traditional dress, for men and women, is a sarong. They live off the land and the sea: fish, coconuts, taro, pumpkin and papaya. They have no telephones, no running water, no electricity (and by extension, no computers, no television, no video games, no movies).
Day 19…Friday, October 18th A….Fanning Island. I woke at 6:45 to a beautiful sunrise and calm seas. Bill woke shortly after. We are still hoping we get on the Island. Bill and I are planning on doing something new today. At 5 pm , Rabbi Bob will be giving his Shabbat Service and we are planning on attending. I am not sure what Shabbat is, but I hope to find out tonight.
Bill and I went up to breakfast in the Lido and saw Fanning Island…long and green. The opening for the island is very small with coral reefs surrounding it. We saw pods of spinner dolphin this am as well, but could not get a picture of them….They surfaced only for a second before going under once again, but they were all over the place; peacefully swimming by.
Our tender ticket is #8 today, so we are waiting to go ashore. It is calm right now so the tenders should not have any trouble getting into shore. People have been telling us the island is actually sinking, so there are plans to move all the people to Fuji soon. The people are friendly and happy even though they have little. No electricity, no running water, no computers or TV. I doubt many of us could live in such primitive conditions. We were able to walk a while saw pigs, chickens, red crabs and several dogs. We saw the islanders homes and cooking facilities. The thatched roofs and walls or open walls serve as protection form the elements. It was very hot today so after about an hour of walking, we returned to the pier area where local women were selling their crafts. I bought a few shell necklaces, an ornament for our Christmas tree and a little turtle for my animal collection. I was going to give the turtle to Pam, but I think I will keep it with the others at least for a while. I should have bought some of the baskets they made, but too hard to bring home. Bill and I returned to the ship for a swim and lunch around 1 pm. Saw Faye in the Lido and we talked for a short while. We saw Anna eating and then Laurie just walking around…we will see them again at Happy Hour.
For Rick...the islanders supplies were delivered. I think medical supplies and new shoes would be a good idea for the next trip. The children are so happy and carefree. The adults seem content and happy as well. We were proud to meet and visit the island.
I guess our government is now open and running again but only for a while…..I don’t get it! Politician’s are nuts! All they did was move the deadlines…no actual resolution. Typical Washington. Appears they also added a few of their pet projects to the bill…$3 million for Sen. McConnell’s reconstruction of something in his state. Figures!!!
We went to Happy Hour, then to the Sabbath service which means the same as Shabbat Service. It was interesting and good for us to experience. We will try Father Joe’s service next. Dinner was excellent tonight, yummy strip steak was tender and cooked just right. I was having some indigestion….from the Tequila Sunrises, so I went to the room and then we decided we were done for the night. It is amazing to me how much we are on the go even though we nap, we are still tired. I am beginning to understand why people of our age turn in early on board ship.