Midway Weather

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Site seeing

Sand Island in the distance
This weekend one of the FWS folks kindly offered to take a group of us out to the reef for some snorkeling.  Since the atoll is several miles across, it can take up to half an hour by boat to get to the outer ring of coral.
The start of a lovely snorkeling trip
We crossed the sandy bottom lagoon and set anchor before setting off for the coral perimeter of the atoll.  Our guide/ captain took us to the 'Reef Hotel' site.

Reef Hotel as it originally stood
There's not much good data on the structure that I was able to find on the internet.  Locals say that it was built in the 1960s by USGS as a drill platform.  They were able to drill 400' through the coral to find the lip of the old volcano that originally created the island 400 million years ago - well before any of the main Hawaiian islands.

Reef Hotel pilings today
 After the drilling operation, rumor has it the Navy left the structure as VIP accommodations.  Unfortunately nothing remains today above the water line.

Spinner dolphin display. Several just off the bow underwater
On our return trip to the island we were greeted by a pod of spinner dolphins that played in the bow wake and gave us quite a show.  Now I know how they got their name.

Another good day stuck working on a tropical island

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