Schooner Seawanhaka

Seawanhaka Home
Where Is
Ship's Log
About the Ship
Meet the Skipper
Crew Page
Marine Services

Photo Album
Alaska, Canada, NW
South Pacific
    Pacific Ocean
    Fanning Island
    American Samoa
    Fiji '04
    Fiji to New Zealand
    New Zealand to Fiji
    Fiji '05
    Fiji to Australia
    Papua New Guinea
    Coral Sea '07
New Zealand

Contact Us

Photo Album - Fanning Island

Fanning Island, Kiribati

Seawanhaka left San Diego in April 2004 for Fanning Island, which is a group of islands called the Line Islands in country of Kiribati (pronounced "Kee-ree-bas"). Kiribati is made up of 33 low lying islands, separated into 3 groups: the Gilberts, the Phoenix, and the Line Islands. The latter named so because they are right on the equator. Most islanders have Micronesian origin but the country is closely tied to Australia through trading and uses the Australian Dollar for currency.

Fanning Island is attractive because it is so remote, has very few tourists, mostly a handful of cruising sailboats, and is largely unspoiled. We stopped in Fanning Island for four days on our way to Samoa, and had a splendid time. The island has no airfield and very few services. It's so remote that a supply ship only visits about once every 3 months. Many of the people living on Fanning Island have moved there recently from other islands that became too crowded. The population is growing rapidly throughout Kiribati: land is scarce, kids are plentiful. I think of Fanning Island as the "island of babies" humans, puppies, kittens, piglets, and chicks were running around everywhere but we saw only a couple of people over age 50.

After more than 3 weeks on the ocean, we were very excited to sail into Fanning Island, locally known as Tabuaeran. This low-lying coral atoll is very small and still relatively untouched by the modern world. Two years ago, Norwegian Cruise Lines began coming to Fanning from Hawaii, bringing an influx of 2000 passengers to the island for several hours. Needless to say, it's an interesting mix of modern (temporary) facilities set up for the occasional cruise ship in stark contrast to the rest of island life. We had a fantastic time in this charming atoll.

For more info on Kiribati, check out Pacific Island Travel or Lonely Planet.


Read Postings from Fanning Island

(Click on a photo to see a larger view)

Our friendly Kiribati customs & immigration officials helped us raise the Kiribati flag on Seawanhaka.

I think I swam more on Fanning Island than ever before - the usually constant tradewinds were light for the first few days and even the natives were hot!

One of the only stores on the island is Johnny's Store where you can buy postcards, milk, spam and lots of other goodies.

At Fanning Island, we anchored Seawanhaka in the lagoon, just a short dinghy ride away from English Harbour, the main village.

One day Chuck, an ex-pat living on the island took us on a crab hunting adventure on the other side of the island. The boat was so full that we towed 2 people in the kayak behind us.

This baby booby bird fell out of its nest. We came across it in the jungle on our crab hunting excursion.

A view of the jungle where we were crab hunting.

Chuck's wife and her sisters cooked an amazing feast out of these little land crabs that we caught.

Enjoying the finished meal with some other cruisers.

Me on the beach in tropical paradise :).

A typical house on Fanning Island - raised off the ground a few feet with no walls so the breezes can blow through and keep things cool.

Island kids playing a game along the road.

We were lucky enough to see the supply ship (the Moamoa) which only visits the island 3-4 times a year. As it was leaving, the ship crashed into this beach and the whole island watched it get unstuck.

Palm trees along the beach. The picnic tables are set up to accommodate the cruise ships which visit the island a couple times a month for a few hours.

Bill watches the native boys surfing on scraps of plywood.

We rode bikes out to the boarding school. This is a view of their small library.

In the evening, the men climb up the coconut trees to tap the fruit and drain out the juice for drinking. It's charming to watch because all the guys sing as they work.

There are tons of animals on Fanning - at most houses you can find dogs, cats, chickens and pigs.

Palm trees frame this beautiful white sandy beach.

Go on to American Samoa photos.

Go back to Pacific Ocean photos.