Archive for the ‘Coral Atoll’ Tag

Christmas comes early   6 comments

Six days after leaving Honolulu we arrived at Kiribati (Christmas Island), you don’t see it until you are very close, it’s highest point is only about 5 meters above sea level.

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Kiritimati, or Christmas Island, is a Pacific Ocean raised coral atoll in the northern Line Islands. It is part of the Republic of Kiribati.

The name “Kiritimati” is a respelling of the English word “Christmas” in the Kiribati language, in which the combination ti is pronounced s, and the name is thus pronounced /kəˈrɪsməs/.

The island has the greatest land area of any coral atoll in the world, about 388 square kilometres (150 square miles); its lagoon is roughly the same size. The atoll is about 150 km (93 mi) in perimeter, while the lagoon shoreline extends for over 48 km (30 mi). Kiritimati comprises over 70% of the total land area of Kiribati, a country encompassing 33 Pacific atolls and islands.

It lies 232 km (144 mi) north of the Equator, 2,160 km (1,340 mi) south of Honolulu, and 5,360 km (3,330 mi) from San Francisco. Kiritimati Island is in the world’s farthest forward time zone, UTC+14, and is one of the first inhabited places on Earth to experience the New Year (see also Caroline Atoll, Kiribati). Despite being 2,460 km (1,530 mi) east of the 180 meridian, a 1995 realignment of the International Date Line by the Republic of Kiribati moved Kiritimati to west of the dateline.

Nuclear tests were conducted on and around Kiribati by the United Kingdom in the late 1950s, and by the United States in 1962. During these tests islanders were not evacuated. Subsequently, British, New Zealand, and Fijian servicemen as well as local islanders have claimed to have suffered from exposure to the radiation from these blasts.

Some locals checking us out.

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After a night at anchor and some much needed rest we had a visit by the local customs and immigration folk, this is when we found out the international date line had been moved in 1995, we had lost a day, we got it back when we left a couple of days later.

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After the officials left we chilled out and waited for our taxi/delivery transport to the island. Once mattress’s were loaded we headed for the beach.

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Unloading the goods.

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Passing some locals business’s.

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Once bedding had been safely delivered it was cocktail time.

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Tour of the island next time.

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