400 miles north of Fiji, 30 knot winds, 12 foot seas, meals served in bowls, waves and spray continuously wash over the starboard side of the vessel, a challenge to take a shower, walk or even sleep as you have to compensate for your body being thrown this way and that by the erratic motion of the sea and vessel. A few people are seasick and lying mostly in their bunks; others sit where they can, lying where they can, and eat when and what they can. We are passing through the inter-tropical convergence zone.
The long transit across this vast ocean, illustrates how isolated the Phoenix Islands are. And we want to make the most of the precious time we will have in the islands, to check the status of this large marine ecosystem that the government of Kiribati has protected.
Gregory Stone is the Senior Vice President and Chief Scientist for Oceans with Conservation International and PIPA Expedition Leader