In their last few days at Midway, our Mitsubishi volunteers finally explored the island on a historical tour led by FWS Visitor Services Manager Tracy Ammerman. She started with the Cable Station (at left with Crystal and Mike), 5 buildings completed in 1904 and comprising the first structures built at Midway as the connection between Honolulu and Guam for the first worldwide communications network. She also led us to Midway's only cemetery (with graves dating back to nearly 1900), World War II bombed powerplant and seaplane hangar, gun emplacement, Ave Maria shrine, and the Midway theater.
Later that night, the party moved to the All Hands Club so the Mitsubishi volunteers could finish their ceiling tile for the All Hands Club, a tradition for groups and residents at Midway. This year, the tile was a work of art with cartoons and photographs.
On Thursday, the volunteers packed, prepared to leave, and took a few last photos, including this one below with all Coral Reefers and most of the FWS staff and volunteers. FWS manager John Klavitter and his wife Leona left on the plane with them, although they'll be back in three weeks.
We'll definitely miss the volunteers because they made huge amounts of work possible. Anne worked with them to do lots of sediment sampling, and they helped Don do three days of coring on the reef crest. They helped Kristin collect and re-deploy temperature loggers and check her spat collectors. They helped Kristin and Don collect Kristin's pearl oyster growth and survival cages and tiles and looked through the tiles for coral recruits.
Now that it's just Kristin, Anne, and Don (with Wendy to join us next week), the real work begins! Anne and Don will leave on Sept 16, while Kristin and Wendy remain until Sept 23. We have a lot of work and projects to complete in the next few weeks!
P.S. Kristin posted a ton of photos from all these social and research activities to the Picasa web album at http://picasaweb.google.com/MidwayCoralReef/201002. Check them out!