The pencil layout for the Monster Island expedition map spread is about halfway complete now. I decided to add a quick dash of color to separate the water from the land, so the sketch will be easier for you to figure out.
DESCRIPTION OF THE EXPEDITION
You'll note a pencil line running around the island inside the lagoon as well as over the land area, showing directional arrows. This will be the track that the expedition follows. You'll note the helicopter in the lower center. That's the drop-off point, where the expedition begins. The first portion of the expedition as it tracks into Hooloo Cove is indicated by the dotted line. The next time you see this sketch, the course of the expedition will all be drawn in dotted line. (Enlarge above image for a closer look.)
In the last sketch (scroll down one image) you'll see that the helicopter was a small size airship, similar to a LOH (light observation helicopter). I decided that in order to carry all the kayaks and other supplies that we would need a much larger airship. So I swapped the for-seater LOH ("loach") out for a Chinook. They're jumbo-size choppers, designed to carry larger numbers of people as well as supplies (It cost me a fortune to lease the Chinook, but it was worth the expense).
The Chinook lands on the small motu and unloads passengers and supplies. We immediately observe several skulls and other bone fragments in the coral sand. The skulls do not resemble any animal life that would exist on a tropical island. I make note of that in my journal. We assume this must be a feeding site for a sea creature of some kind.
Then, with some trepidation, we step into our kayaks and the expedition is underway. We paddle single-file in a clockwise position. The expedition will be accomplished by circumnavigating the island along a course that stays inside the fringe reef, to avoid the risk of swamping the kayaks in high seas. The waters inside fringe reefs are generally quite calm.
We enter the first cove that we encounter and one of our Maori team members names it Hooloo Cove after his island of birth. There we beach the kayaks and begin our overland exploration of the island.
I named the "Needle" peak in the upper left portion of the island after The Needle on the island of Rarotonga in the South Pacific Ocean. The last time I was on Rarotonga I had planned to climb The Needle, but ran out of time. I hope to climb it on my next visit.
We'll pick up where we left off with further development of the sketch in the next post in a few days. Check back soon to see how the expedition is progressing.