Kiritimati Island

Getting to Christmas Island (Pacific Ocean – not the one in the Indian Ocean) is not easy. The best way to book a flight is to call Frontiers International, a tour company that books mainly fishing trips. They send the most people to this island (bone fishermen primarily) and work closely with the hotel and airline (a charter flight out of Honolulu, Hawaii). Flights go once a week – usually!
Once there, the only hotel is reminiscent of an inexpensive, back country hotel built in the United States in the 1950’s – cement block, spartan – but prices are high owing to remoteness and difficulty of getting supplies there. You’re near the equator – in the tropics – things don’t always run right and you have to have an easy attitude.

Other than its great bone fishing, the island is known for having millions of nesting tropical seabirds. But don’t go duiring an El Nino – that’s when the birds disappear! El Nino events changes the ocean current and upwelling systems and the birds can no longer find food (fish and squid) in the places they normally do during their breeding season. So they abandon breeding attempts and fly off in search of food – survival!

It’s one of the most primitive places you can visit on this earth. Most of the local Micronesians live without electricity, plumbing, running water. There is no newspaper, TV station, email. Betty Anne Schreiber .

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