Photo Gallery - April 2005
Pictures can be clicked to see a large version of the image.
Tracy and her son Beau. Tracy's family (her husband Ken, daughter Rani and son Manu) have been living on Kapingamarangi for about 3 years. Their boat "Magic" (a sloop built by Ken) is anchored just off the beach from their shore side home.
Coconut storage area. Each family has a similar pile of unhusked nuts which they must collect periodically to keep up the supply. Coconuts are used for both the meat and for drinking, and for feeding the pigs. It's quite clear that without the coconut palm life on these atolls would not be possible.
Another staple food on these atolls (and most others in the Pacific) is the Breadfruit. Here Tracy is cleaning one in preparation for cooking. They can be cooked in a wide variety of ways including boiled like a potato, sliced and fried as chips, fermented underground, pulverized and dried in the sun in big sheets (a photo showing this is further down on this page).
Jonah and Jordan lounging in the pool. The floating toy is meant to be dragged behind a fast boat (see photos further down on this page). We also enjoy just tying it off to the stern of the Queen Jane and reclining in it.
The wharf at Kapinga. Weather instruments can be seen on the left side of the photo. Kapinga contributes to the US NOAA weather service by stationing these sensors here. The information they collect is radioed each day to Pohnpei.
Also looking North, you can see how close to the edge some of the houses sit. Walls made of coral rubble are common here as water breaks. When the wind blows hard from the West (as it often did during our visit) these walls help protect the homes from water ingress.
The village at Kapinga is very compact and orderly. It is more like a small town then any Pacific atoll village we have ever seen. This is the result of the size of the motu the village was originally settled on (many generations ago when the population was much smaller). Homes on the main village island (called Soho) are often so close together as to abut each other like row houses in a city.
This village home, with woven mats to provide sun protection and some privacy, is right on the main drag. One of the results of the compactness of the village is that privacy is quite rare on this island.
Thu church in the Kapinga village. It is set back from the beach down a narrow alley between the dispensary and the home next door. Just to the right (off the photo) is the village office where the council meets and conducts business.
The chief magistrate's office. The village recently got its first computer. Sakius (at left) and Namath Joe (yes, Namath is his first name) are teachers and appear to be the only two on the island who have used the computer. The captain was attempting to show them how to make DVD copies (Sakius has a TV, DVD player and generator at his home and hosts movie nights several times a week - his children living in the US send him new DVDs).
While the captain was assisting with the computer, a group of kids congregated outside to watch. Jordan suggested to the two teachers that they were interested in the computer. They politely informed him that it was he they were interested in. Perhaps.
The radio shack in the corner of the village office. The SSB radio is powered by a 12v battery and solar panel. The computer, on the other hand, is run off a 5kw diesel generator. The radio is used daily to communicate with island representatives on Pohnpei (the capital) and to transmit weather data each day.
As is common in many Polynesian cultures, individual homes often include a grave site where the families ancestors are buried. Here you can see decorative flags draped on lines around the perimeter. I asked this woman about the flags and was told (vaguely) that the flags were only put up on special days. Perhaps on the anniversary of the death. They remind me a bit of Tibetan prayer flags.
The shore as seen from our anchorage at Kavieng on the island of New Ireland in Papua New Guinea. We arrived in Kavieng after a 3 day passage from Kapingamarangi late on the 24th of the month but had to stay aboard until the 26th since the 24th was a Sunday and Monday was a national holiday ("Remembrance Day").
Another view of the shore from our anchorage at Kavieng. The powerboat close to shore is owned by a local Aussie who uses it for fishing, perhaps as a charter for tourists. Just to the left of the boat is the Malangan Beach Resort.
Although we didn't exactly invite them aboard, before we could speak they had scrambled onto the deck and laid out there wares for us to examine. We have since seen these three about town almost every day. They were a bit agressive on this visit but since then have been very friendly. The workmanship of the baskets is quite impressive and we bought one right away and plan to buy more before we leave.
Kate is doing some heavy bargaining for baskets in this shot. The skipper stood high up on deck shaking his head at each price mentioned until they agreed to a lower price. They had us at a disadvantage seeing as how we had not even been ashore yet and didn't know the proper exchange rate. We ended up paying them in Aus$ much more then we can get them now that we have Kina, the local currency.