Starbuck Island

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Scenic cruising: Starbuck Island

This island is an uninhabited coral atoll in the central Pacific, and is part of the Central Line Islands of Kiribati. Former names include "Barren Island", "Coral Queen Island", "Hero Island", "Low Island" and "Starve Island". Occasionally scientists and yacht sailors visit, and apparently someone checks every few weeks to be sure no one has been stranded there. It gets very little rainfall and has only minimal vegitation. Starbuck Island has been declared a protected area by the United Nations

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Starbuck Island

We never expected to have an opportunity to see this atoll!



An unexpected treat

Captain Schoonderbeek made a special effort to redirect our journey to allow a view of this seldom-seen island. When cruise ships do pass it, it is likely to be in the middle of the night as the likely ports they are visiting would put them in this vicinity at that time. We were never close enough to be caught in shallower depths near the atoll, but even from a distance of, as I recall, about a mile out, binoculars or a strong camera lens could capture what it loosed like.  The opportunity to see it from a cruise ship is rare and since we couldn't visit Fanning Island, it was very nice to have this substitute opportunity.

No cruise ship has ever visited Starbuck Island. The depth and current conditions would make that impossible.

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