Palmyra above and below the water

Amanda Pollock, the Wildlife Refuge Manager for Palmyra, had returned on-site the day before we had and invited us along on her site arrival boat survey. This was an opportunity for us to tour the East Lagoon (map), off-limits to visitors due to current at the entrance and water shallowness. The military built a causeway that created East Lagoon. This radically altered water flow in the atoll, effectivetly killling off underwater life  in the lagoons due to lack of flow. The causeway slowly is crumbly away and natural flow eventually will be restored. In the video below, we’re running north along the eastern edge of the causeway, shortly before exiting into Center Lagoon.

Later the day, Amanda took us out to Penguin Spit (bottom left in map) to brief us on snorkeling there. And since we were going out there anyway, we all went for a snorkel. No anchoring, even of dinghys, is allowed anywhere in the reserve except at the designated anchorage where Dirona is. Several buoys have been installed along the western reefs that small boats can tie off to to. The underwater life there is astonishing–we were particularly impressed with the colorful giant clams and stands of staghead coral over ten feet in diameter. Below are some stills and video that we shot.



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5 comments on “Palmyra above and below the water
  1. Dan Mimis says:

    Fabulous trip, nicely documented. So close to the Manta Rays and sharks one would think u’re in Washington, DC ..

  2. Thor, you asked about the camera used for the underwater footage. It’s a GoPro Hero 3 Silver. Not a great camera but easy to use, doesn’t consume much space, doesn’t get in the way of the dive, and overall, it seems to do pretty well. We use the same camera for underway shots in storms from the boat and it offers a pretty interesting perspective. Overall, we like the camera.


  3. thor says:

    What is the camera you are using for the snorkeling clip?

  4. Jennifer says:

    Thanks Jacques. And yeah–we’ll watch out for those strangers. But the next pleasure craft isn’t coming in until April, so I think we are safe. By the WW2 bunker, do you mean Buck’s camp? If so–yes it’s there just off the runway. Haven’t been inside yet–maybe today when we watch the plane come in.

  5. Jacques Vuye says:

    Great report, (as usual..) and those short videos are simply perfect.
    The adventure continues..and something is telling me it’s going to get even better!
    Just don’t take any scruffy looking strangers from a rickety boat on board the Dirona Lady…they may want to change her beautiful hull color! (: (:
    Did you see the (in)famous WW 2 bunker?

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