“A Signal”

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Captain Hank Bracker

The Christmas Islands

Around the world there are four separate islands that have been dubbed “Christmas Island.” Canada has one in Nova Scotia which is a community on Cape Breton Island. Another one is off the New Year Island Group north-west of Tasmania, and then there is Little Christmas Island a part of the Schouten Island Group off eastern Tasmania. Another Australian Christmas Island is an island territory in the Indian Ocean.

Finally there is Kiritimati, formally called “Christmas Island.” Kiritimati is a direct translation from English to the Kiribati language. It is a small island of the Central Pacific Ocean Nation of Kiribati lying 144 miles north of the Equator. The entire population of the Republic of Kiribati is just over 100,000 people half of which live on Tarawa Atoll. With the Earth’s climate changing the entire nation is in danger of disappearing into the Pacific Ocean. The 33 atolls and islands comprising the country have a total of 310 square miles and are spread out over 1,351,000 square miles. Kiribati is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the IMF and the World Bank, and is a full member of the United Nations.

“Christmas Island” or Kiritimati has the greatest land area of any coral atoll in the world and comprises about 70% of Kiribati’s land mass with about 150 square miles. The atoll is about 150 km (93 mi) in perimeter, while the lagoon shoreline extends for over 30 miles. The entire island is a Wildlife Sanctuary. It lies 144 miles north of the Equator and is one of the first place on Earth to experience the New Year.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. Thank’s for following my Blogs & Commentaries throughout the past year. It’s been a hoot! Best Wishes for a wonderful 2017. Captain Hank Bracker & crew; Lucy Shaw, Ursula Bracker & Jorge Fernandez.