the lagoon


Decades ago hydrogen bombs detonated high above this atoll. It is now home to about 5,000 people. Surprisingly, a recent large scale clean up crew that checked radiation levels reported finding no abnormal levels of radioactivity anywhere on the island. Aside from a leftover monolith of a runway, a few rusting remnants of US and English buildings, and some slabs of concrete, there are few remaining indications this place was once home to a large military presence. It was hard to imagine the man-made violent fury unleashed many times over the atoll in years past.

There is a two lane road that twists and turns its way around a large part of the atoll, with shrubs growing up high enough to block visibility around many of the curves. Americans drive on the right side of the road. The English drive on the left. I heard stories that this difference led to head on collisions.

I wish it was more visible in this photo...the clouds above an atoll lagoon, especially this one it seemed, glow a bit of a greenish blue, reflecting the lagoon color from below. It's very noticeable when you scan the entire sky and compare the difference between the clouds over the deep blue of the open ocean and those over the atoll. On a cloudy or partly cloudy day this can be seen from far off in the open ocean, long before any fringe of land is visible.

This is the lagoon that took the life out of my Canon AE-1 35mm camera as well, the one I used to shoot this photo.