Tuesday, June 26, 2012

On Top of Forbidden

It's been a while since I've been on top of Forbidden Island.  I think the last time was 2006, but it may have been 2007.  There are rumors on the island that the government does not allow it, but that's not true.  You're not allowed to walk on the coral reefs.  There are no coral reefs on top of the island.

You really shouldn't try climbing up unless you have an experienced guide -- like me.  None of the tour companies will take you up, so you need to find a local.  There is a semi-worn path -- well-worn would be an exaggeration -- which zigzags its way up the cliff face.

There's about a 20-foot sheer wall at the top, and the only way to get up is to climb.  There's an old rope to help, but it's not something you should attempt if you are afraid of heights.

And while it's not exactly Everest, there is a great deal of satisfaction in making it to the top.  There's not much up there other than some birds and shrubs, but sometimes you can look down in the water and see sharks and turtles.

The top is as big as a football field, maybe a bit bigger.  Even though it's just shrubs, you still have to look around and check out all the views.

This is the view of the Mariana Trench Marine National Monument.  A few miles offshore, stretching north and south for hundreds of miles, at the bottom of the ocean, lies the Mariana Trench National Wildlife Refuge.  In the history of mankind, only three people have ever visited.  I should put going there on my bucket list.

And now that we're married, I guess you'd have to say that it is our Mariana Trench Marine National Monument, right?  I hope someone makes a two-seater submersible.

Edz is bravely checking over the edge of the cliff.

And here are a couple of pictures of birds.  The last time I was up here I saw a bunch of baby chicks.  This time there were lots of juveniles.  They didn't fly away when they saw us like the adults, just looked at us and hoped we wouldn't eat them.

But even this late in the breeding season, there were still some eggs.  We saw three, including this one being guarded by mommy.

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