THE PALMERSTON ATOLL (A TERRITORY OF THE COOK ISLANDS - ADMINISTERED
AND SUPPORTED BY NEW ZEALAND) LIES HALFWAY BETWEEN FRENCH
POLYNESIA AND TONGA. IT HAS SOME 70INHABITANTS, DESCENDANTS OF
WILLIAM MASTERS, AN ENGLISHMAN WHO SETTLED THERE WITH HIS 3 (THREE)
PENRHYN ISLAND WIVES IN 1862 AND FATHERED 26 CHILDREN. WE MET THE 5TH
AND 6TH GENERATION  (TODAYS ADULTS AND CHILDREN). SOME OF THEM HAVE
MOVED ON AND LIVE ON OTHER ISLANDS AND IN NEW ZEALAND. ALL COOK
ISLANDERS HAVE NEW ZEALAND PASSPORTS. THE PLACE HAS NO AIRSTRIP AND
NO DEVELOPMENT. A SUPPLY SHIP CALLS EVERY 3 TO 6 MONTHS AND EXCEPT
FOR PEOPLE LIKE US STOPPING BY, THEY HAVE NO OUTSIDE CONTACT. THEY
ARE A HAPPY,  WARM AND FRIENDLY LOT, WELCOMING VISITORS WITH OPEN
ARMS AND READY TO SHARE ALL THEY HAVE. IN RETURN, WE OFFER WHAT WE
CAN SPARE SUCH AS BATTERIES, SPECIAL FOOD ITEMS, CLOTHING, TOYS,
FISHING GEAR, SOFT DRINKS ETC. WE FELT WHOLE HAVING MADE THE EFFORT
AND TAKEN THE TIME TO STOP THERE AND GET TO SEE AND MEET THIS SPECIAL
PLACE AND ITS PEOPLE.
The Palmerston Atoll as seen from the top of UHURU's
mast - foreground right Palmerston island
Customs and Health officials being brought on board by our 'Host', Edward
Clearing 'Immigration' at Palmerston