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Voyage to Kure: Expedition Diaries

<< Expedition Diaries | About the Islands

Day 19: Growing Up in the NWHI

Bodeen family: Tim, Stephanie, Bailey and Tanzie, with Jean-Michel Cousteau. Photo credit: Holly Lohuis,

[My favorite thing about living on Midway is] having a lot of freedom and being able to drive the golf carts around. I love all the birds, and I really like the white-tailed tropic birds because of their beautiful colors, and I especially like the shearwaters because of their nighttime calls.

- Bailey Bodeen, age 11, Midway Island Resident


Midway Atoll

Date: 7/25/03
Location: N28°12.8' W175°50.3'
Weather: Wind 21 knots
Sea Conditions: Flat and calm in the protection of the small harbor

The team spends Day 19 on Midway Island, an important logistical stopover for refueling, refilling freshwater tanks and offloading recycled garbage. They also meet with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff, who show them more of the damaging effects that humans have had on their local environment. Jean-Michel sees albatross chicks with droopy-wing syndrome, an eventually fatal effect caused by lead paint on the old military buildings around the island. Four crew members also head out with a marine debris team and film the removal of fishing nets from the ocean floor. So far they've removed an astounding 82 tons of nets in the area.

Jean-Michel Cousteau views the shocking sight of 82 tons of marine debris collected by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's team at Pearl and Hermes Atoll in a brief two-and-a-half-week period. Photo credit: Tom Ordway
Click to enlarge

The team's host for the day is the Bodeen family -- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employee Tim, the island manager; his wife Stephanie; and their daughters, Bailey and Tanzie, ages 11 and 9. The girls are the only two children on Midway Island, where they have lived for almost two years. Home-schooled by their mother and a volunteer teacher, the girls seem to love living on Midway and are eager to share their experiences with the crew.

Bailey and Tanzie Bodeen, Midway Island Residents:

Favorite thing about living on Midway

Having a lot of freedom and being able to drive the golf carts around. I love all the birds, and I really like the white-tailed tropic birds because of their beautiful colors, and I especially like the shearwaters because of their nighttime calls. - Bailey

I like to play with the little ones because they are very curious. My sister and I like to explore in the woods behind our house and find fairy tern chicks in their nests. - Tanzie

About the team's visit

When Holly and Tove came, we were so excited to show them our bedrooms, then all the birds around our house. Holly and Tanzie found a baby fairy tern chick that had fallen out of a tree, so we [Tanzie, Bailey, Holly, Tove and Nan] found its mom, and we were so excited to see the mom instantly sit on the baby after returning it to its nest. - Bailey