Latest News
For Teachers
For Keiki (Kids)
About the Area
Photo Images
Video Images
Maps and Satellite Images
More Info

You are here: /main/research expeditions/August/September 2007/Midway Atoll

Day 9 - Midway Atoll.
Sunday, September 2

by Carlie Wiener

Click here to see where the Hi'ialakai is now.
Click here to see current data from the ship.

Carlie Wiener at Midway
Me enjoying the crystal blue waters in the lagoon at Midway, Carlie Wiener.

Today is our one and only day at Midway Atoll. It was really neat coming up to Midway as it is the first significant chunk of land I have seen since Oahu. This atoll is historically significant with numerous shipwrecks, the famous World War II Battle of Midway, amongst other things. The infrastructure set up on the island is that of a small rural town, only in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and it is a US Fish and Wildlife Service National Wildlife Refuge. It is really surreal and a unique place. Since the weather has been very unpredictable the crew decided to downscale to three dive boats. Today’s focus is on invertebrate collecting for Dr. Toonen as Midway is one of his high priority sites. The maritime archeology crew is also interested in the numerous ship and airplane wrecks found at this atoll. Dr. Meyer continues to work with his receivers and tagging large apex predators.  The morning was really difficult to carry out dives and as a result some of the wrecks that the maritime heritage group wanted to accomplish could not be fulfilled. A ten foot swell rocked the boat as the team did get to dive the Corsair, a World War Two plane wreck.

10 foot swell at Midway
The jet boat faces rough seas trying to get to dive site, Carlie Wiener.

Around lunchtime, the team took the boat into the calmer lagoon at Midway for some lunch. It was hard to eat being surrounded by such beauty. I have never seen a prettier shade of blue in any lagoon, or other body of water. The long, white sand beaches stretch across the atoll where sleeping monk seals lie and rusted World War Two artifacts still stand.

Gun on Eastern Island
World War II artillery gun on Eastern Island, Midway Atoll. Carlie Wiener.

Sitting out in the jet boat and observing my surroundings, I feel an overwhelming sense of happiness to have been lucky enough to experience this wonderful place. It feels good to know that the hard work of this expedition will be put towards future knowledge to help maintain and manage this spectacular place. The day ends with one last dive at an old wreck in the lagoon. Not much is left from the wreck except for the exposed anchor. The team uses a metal detector to help identify artifacts that may be buried under the sand.

Underwater metal detector
Sean Corson dives with a metal detector to search for wreck artifacts, Carlie Wiener.

The days seem to go by so quickly when working out in the field, I am trying to enjoy every moment possible. This evening the ship is beginning to transit down to French Frigate Shoals which should take three days. This will provide lots of time for everyone to process samples, enter data and plan for the last stop of the expedition. It saddens me to think we only have one more place to see, but I am also eager to get back to share my stories with others. From Midway atoll a hui hou!

Click here for maps of the region





Coral bleaching

Galapagos shark

Home | News | About | Expeditions | Photos | Video | Maps
Discussions | Partners | Teachers | Keiki | More Info | Search
Contact Us | Privacy Policy
This site is hosted by the
Laboratory for Interactive Learning Technologies
at the University of Hawai`i