Boat to Ebeye

Yesterday, on my 4-week anniversary of arriving on Kwaj, I finally got on a boat.

I took a catamaran to nearby Ebeye and back, although I didn’t get off the boat as I had to get back for work.

The Marshallese workers on Kwaj daily go to/from their homes on Ebeye on a ferry (the ferries are free, you just swipe your badge and go through a little security checkpoint). One of the ferries broke down, though, so a pair of catamarans took up the slack yesterday. I was riding on the Private Sorenson, named for a WWII soldier who threw himself on a Japanese grenade during the Marine landing of Kwajalein Atoll (he did survive).

This is Little Bustard, the island just north of Kwaj on the eastern reef. We’re in the lagoon, looking eastward to the ocean (the greener water is the shallow water along the reef edge, separating the lagoon from the ocean).

This is Ebeye, about a 20-minute ride from Kwaj. Ebeye is only about 80 acres, but is home to well over 10,000 people. A lot of people on the boat were taking fresh water from Kwaj back to their families, as living conditions on Ebeye are pretty poor.

Approaching the pier at Ebeye. Kwaj is off in the distance, on the right side of the photo.

Ebeye near the pier.

Looking back south towards Kwaj.

Approaching Kwajalein.

Navy ship that accidentally ran into the pier a couple weeks ago.

The ship on the left is the USS Worthy. They do a lot of mission-related work, such as going out near the terminal area and scanning stuff with their radars. The boat moving towards us is one of the Ebeye ferries, and the boat docked behind the ferry is the other catamaran, Private Anderson (named for another WWII marine who was killed by a grenade at Kwajalein Atoll).

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5 Responses to Boat to Ebeye

  1. Caitlin says:

    Cool! I especially like that first photo, looks like a nice little island to get away from it all 🙂

  2. Steve says:

    Thanks for the photo tour..

    I’ve worked part time as a wedding and portrait photographer most of my life, and I’m headed to KWAJ in late July to work…

    Your photo essays have convinced me to bring one of my Nikon cameras, as well as a lens or two. What kind of camera are you using?

    • Rebekah says:

      Hi Steve,

      I used a Nikon D3000 up until December, when I sold it to upgrade to a Canon 7D, which is what I use now for all my topside and underwater photography. I only had the two kit lenses with my Nikon, so it wasn’t like I’d invested a lot in Nikon glass, although I’d used a Nikon film SLR for years before I got a DSLR. The camera was entry level and there were no underwater housings available for it, so after much research I decided on the 7D, which is what I thought would suit me best for my current and future purposes. To start with (aside from the 28-135mm lens it came with), I bought the Canon 10-22mm wide angle and the 100mm macro, with the idea of using them underwater. Even if you don’t plan on taking your setup underwater, we have beautiful sunsets and tropical island scenes to photograph. 🙂

      Congrats on the job and good luck on the move!

  3. Pingback: Ebeye: Island of Contrasts | Just Down The Jet Stream

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