Coral Island Quotes

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A woman's destiny, they say, is not fulfilled until she holds in her arms her own little book.
Caroline Mytinger (Headhunting in the Solomon Islands: Around the Coral Sea)
You have to store up books, becoming acquainted with human experience; let them lie around your thoughts, becoming yours—ring upon ring, as a tree grows, let them rise up from the depths like coral islands. If it gets crowded with all the books and there's nowhere to put your bed, it's better to exchange it for a folding bed
Victor Shklovsky
To part is the lot of all mankind. The world is a scene of constant leave-taking, and the hands that grasp in cordial greeting today, are doomed ere long to unite for the the last time, when the quivering lips pronounce the word - 'Farewell
R.M. Ballantyne
I don’t know if you have ever seem a map of a person’s mind. Doctors sometimes draw maps of other parts of you, and your own map can become intensely interesting, but catch them trying to draw a map of a child’s mind, which is not only confused, but keeps going round all the time. There are zigzag lines on it, just like your temperature on a card, and these are probably roads in the island; for the Neverland is always more or less and island, with astonishing splashes of colour here and there, and coral reefs and rakish-looking craft in the offing, and savages and lonely lairs, and gnomes who are mostly tailors, and caves through which a river runs, and princes with six elder brothers, and a hut fast going to decay, and one very small old lady with a hooked nose.
J.M. Barrie (Peter Pan)
Ithaka As you set out for Ithaka hope the voyage is a long one, full of adventure, full of discovery. Laistrygonians and Cyclops, angry Poseidon—don’t be afraid of them: you’ll never find things like that on your way as long as you keep your thoughts raised high, as long as a rare excitement stirs your spirit and your body. Laistrygonians and Cyclops, wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them unless you bring them along inside your soul, unless your soul sets them up in front of you. Hope the voyage is a long one. May there be many a summer morning when, with what pleasure, what joy, you come into harbors seen for the first time; may you stop at Phoenician trading stations to buy fine things, mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony, sensual perfume of every kind— as many sensual perfumes as you can; and may you visit many Egyptian cities to gather stores of knowledge from their scholars. Keep Ithaka always in your mind. Arriving there is what you are destined for. But do not hurry the journey at all. Better if it lasts for years, so you are old by the time you reach the island, wealthy with all you have gained on the way, not expecting Ithaka to make you rich. Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey. Without her you would not have set out. She has nothing left to give you now. And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you. Wise as you will have become, so full of experience, you will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.
Constantinos P. Cavafy (C.P. Cavafy: Collected Poems)
and I have always found, though I am unable to account for it, that daylight banishes many of the fears that are apt to assail us in the dark.
R.M. Ballantyne (The Coral Island)
I stood against the wind, watching the movement of the water around the coral islands. It pushed up the shelf gently, and if it was as calm beneath the surface as it was above, I could do the dive in just minutes
Adrienne Young (Fable (The World of the Narrows, #1))
I don’t know whether you have ever seen a map of a person’s mind. Doctors sometimes draw maps of other parts of you, and your own map can become intensely interesting, but catch them trying to draw a map of a child’s mind, which is not only confused, but keeps going round all the time. There are zigzag lines on it, just like your temperature on a card, and these are probably roads on the island, for the Neverland is always more or less an island, with astonishing splashes of colour here and there, and coral reefs and rakish-looking craft in the offing, and savages and lonely lairs, and gnomes who are mostly tailors, and caves through which a river runs, and princes with sex elder brothers, and a hut fast going to decay, and one very small old lady with a hooked nose. It would be an easy map if that were all, but there is also first day at school, religion, fathers, the round pond, needle-work, murders, hangings, verbs that take the dative, chocolate-pudding day, getting into braces, say ninety-nine threepence for pulling out your tooth yourself, and so on, and either these are part of the island or they are another map showing through, and it is all rather confusing, especially as nothing will stand still. Of course the Neverlands vary a good deal. John’s, for instance, had a lagoon with flamingos flying over it at which John was shooting, while Michael, who was very small, had a flamingo with lagoons flying over it. John lived in a boat turned upside down on the sands, Michael in a wigwam, Wendy in a house of leaves deftly sewn together. John had no friends, Michael had friends at night, Wendy had a pet wolf forsaken by its parents...
J.M. Barrie (Peter Pan)
Cat," said Peterkin, turning his head a little on one side, "I love you.
R.M. Ballantyne (The Coral Island: A Tale of the Pacific Ocean)
I wish I could tell you about the South Pacific. The way it actually was. The endless ocean. The infinite specks of coral we called islands. Coconut palms nodding gracefully toward the ocean. Reefs upon which waves broke into spray, and inner lagoons, lovely beyond description. I wish I could tell you about the sweating jungle, the full moon rising behind the volcanoes, and the waiting. The waiting. The timeless, repetitive waiting.
James A. Michener (Tales of the South Pacific)
The little fishing boat anchors right off the shore of Gili Meno. There are no docks here on this island. You have to roll up your pants, jump off the boat and wade in through the surf on your own power. There's absolutely no way to do this without getting soaking wet or even banged up on the coral, but it's worth all the trouble because the beach here is so beautiful, so special
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
What am I?...I say so inasmuch as I am the memory of all my past moments, the sum of everything I remember. If I say I in the sense of that something that is here at this moment and is not the mainmast or the coral, then I am the sum of what I feel now. But what is what I feel now? It is the sum of those relations between presumed indivisibles that have been arranged in that system of relations in that special order that is my body.
Umberto Eco (The Island of the Day Before)
It is easy enough to call men from the edges of the earth. It is easy enough to summon them to my feet with a thought– it is beautiful to see the tall panther and the sleek deer-hounds circle in the dark. It is easy enough to make cedar and white ash fumes into palaces and to cover the sea-caves with ivory and onyx. But I would give up rock-fringes of coral and the inmost chamber of my island palace and my own gifts and the whole region of my power and magic for your glance.
Here he was holding the clear proof of the existence of other skies, but at the same time without having to ascend beyond the celestial spheres, for he intuited many worlds in a piece of coral. Was there any need to calculate the number of forms which the atoms of the Universe could create--burning at the stake all those who said their number was not finite--when it sufficed to meditate for years on one of these marine objects to realize how the deviation of a single atom, whether willed by God or prompted by Chance, could generate inconceivable Milky Ways?
Umberto Eco (The Island of the Day Before)
I've seen you up close, like this. I remember your eyes. They're the color of the sea -- just inside a coral reef and your freckles are like the stones of a volcanic island scattered along the sand. Your hair is like the sun setting over the water, shooting out orange rays in all directions
Melissa Turner Lee
As you set out on your journey to Ithaca, pray that your journey be a long one, filled with adventure, filled with discovery. Laestrygonians and Cyclopes, the angry Poseidon--do not fear them: you'll never find such things on your way unless your sight is set high, unless a rare excitement stirs your spirit and your body. The Laestrygonians and Cyclopes, the savage Poseidon--you won't meet them so long as you do not admit them to your soul, as long as your soul does not set them before you. Pray that your road is a long one. May there be many summer mornings when with what pleasure, with what joy, you enter harbors never seen before. May you stop at Phoenician stations of trade to buy fine things, mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony, and voluptuous perfumes of every kind-- buy as many voluptuous perfumes as you can. And may you go to many Egyptian cities to learn and learn from those who know. Always keep Ithaca in your mind. You are destined to arrive there. But don't hurry your journey at all. Far better if it takes many years, and if you are old when you anchor at the island, rich with all you have gained on the way, not expecting that Ithaca will give you wealth. Ithaca has given you a beautiful journey. Without her you would never have set out. She has no more left to give you. And if you find her poor, Ithaca has not mocked you. As wise as you have become, so filled with experience, you will have understood what these Ithacas signify.
Barry B. Powell (Classical Myth)
Men do not know how much they are capable of doing till they try
R.M. Ballantyne
I was getting interested in self-transformation. I was straining to understand the worldview of the islanders whom we moved and lived among—and I had been doing so since before Guam, when I let myself sink deep into the coral-pebble speed-checkers subworld around the sakau bowl in Pohnpei. I had come here to learn, I figured, and not just a few things about some far-flung places and people. I wanted to learn new ways to be. I wanted to change, to feel less existentially alienated, to feel more at home in my skin, as they say, and in the world.
William Finnegan (Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life)
For the cocoa-tree and the island man are both lovers and neighbours of the surf.  ‘The coral waxes, the palm grows, but man departs,’ says the sad Tahitian proverb; but they are all three, so long as they endure, co-haunters of the beach.  The
Robert Louis Stevenson (In the South Seas)
An we, inhabitants of the great coral of the Cosmos, believe the atom (which still we cannot see) to be full matter, whereas, it too, like everything else, is but an embroidery of voids in the Void, and we give the name of being, dense and even eternal, to that dance of inconsistencies, that infinite extension that is identified with absolute Nothingness an that spins from its own non-being the illusion of everything.
Umberto Eco (The Island of the Day Before)
There are zigzag lines on it...and these are probably roads in the island, for Neverland is always more or less an island, with astonishing splashes of colour here and there, and coral reefs and rakish-looking craft in an offering, and savages and lonely lairs, and gnomes who are mostly tailors, and caves through which a river runs, and princes with six elder brothers, and a hut fast going to decay, and one very small old lady with a hooked nose.
J.M. Barrie (Peter Pan)
Like tiny islands on the horizon, they can vanish in rough seas. Even in calm weather, their coral gradually erodes, pickled by salt and heat. Yet they form the shoals of a life. Some offer safe lagoons and murmuring trees. Others crawl with pirates and reptiles. Together they connect a self with the mainland and society. Plot their trail and a mercurial past becomes visible. Memories feel geological in their repose, solid and true, the bedrock of consciousness.
Diane Ackerman (An Alchemy of Mind: The Marvel and Mystery of the Brain)
My island was not wild, compared to this. There are such monsters in a palace.
Foz Meadows
The northeast trade winds that blow at a steady fifteen knots onto the cliffs and reefs of the islands’ lee shores produce endless trains of eminently glidable waves.
Simon Winchester (Pacific: Silicon Chips and Surfboards, Coral Reefs and Atom Bombs, Brutal Dictators, Fading Empires, and the Coming Collision of the World's Superpowers)
Neverland is always more or less an island, with astonishing splashes of colour here and there, and coral reefs and rakish-looking craft in the offing, and savages and lonely lairs, and gnomes who are mostly tailors, and caves through which a river runs, and princes with six elder brothers, and a hut fast going to decay, and one very small old lady with a hooked nose.
J.M. Barrie (The Complete Adventures of Peter Pan)
These are coral islands, slowly raised, but continuous, created by the daily work of polypi. Then this new island will be joined later on to the neighboring groups, and a fifth continent will stretch from New Zealand and New Caledonia, and from thence to the Marquesas. One day, when I was suggesting this theory to Captain Nemo, he replied coldly: "The earth does not want new continents, but new men.
Jules Verne (Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea)
It is impossible to behold these waves without feeling a conviction that an island, though built of the hardest rock, let it be porphyry, granite, or quartz, would ultimately yield and be demolished by such an irresistible power. Yet these low, insignificant coral-islets stand and are victorious: for here another power, as an antagonist, takes part in the contest. The organic forces separate the atoms of carbonate of lime, one by one, from the foaming breakers, and unite them into a symmetrical structure. Let the hurricane tear up its thousand huge fragments; yet what will that tell against the accumulated labour of myriads of architects at work night and day, month after month? […] We feel surprise when travellers tell us of the vast dimensions of the Pyramids and other great ruins, but how utterly insignificant are the greatest of these, when compared to these mountains of stone accumulated by the agency of various minute and tender animals! This is a wonder which does not at first strike the eye of the body, but, after reflection, the eye of reason.
Charles Darwin (Voyage of the Beagle)
We came across a rucksack, wedged in among the coral. It was fastened up, but it seemed to have been invaded by some weird fluffy white sea creature that was trying to get out. “What’s that?” said Arnie, poking it. Miranda and I took a second look, and started to giggle. “It’s tampons,” I said. “Expanding widthways when wet—” “Yecch!
Ann Halam (Dr. Franklin's Island (Readers Circle))
She couldn’t remember. These memories (or memories of memories: that was really closer to what they were) were like islands that were not really islands at all but only knobs of a single coral spine which happened to poke up above the waterline, not separate at all but one piece. Yet whenever she tried to dive deep and see the rest, a maddening image intervened:
Stephen King (It)
Under business as usual, by mid-century things are looking rather grim,” he told me a few hours after I had arrived at One Tree. We were sitting at a beat-up picnic table, looking out over the heartbreaking blue of the Coral Sea. The island’s large and boisterous population of terns was screaming in the background. Caldeira paused: “I mean, they’re looking grim already.
Elizabeth Kolbert (The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History)
I am a bomb but I mean you no harm. That I still am here to tell this, is a miracle: I was deployed on May 15, 1957, but I didn’t go off because a British nuclear engineer, a young father, developed qualms after seeing pictures of native children marveling at the mushrooms in the sky, and sabotaged me. I could see why during that short drop before I hit the atoll: the island looks like god’s knuckles in a bathtub, the ocean is beautifully translucent, corals glow underwater, a dead city of bones, allowing a glimpse into a white netherworld. I met the water and fell a few feet into a chromatic cemetery. The longer I lie here, listening to my still functioning electronic innards, the more afraid I grow of detonating after all this time. I don’t share your gods, but I pray I shall die a silent death.
Marcus Speh (A Metazen Christmas)
Today, amphibians enjoy the dubious distinction of being the world’s most endangered class of animals; it’s been calculated that the group’s extinction rate could be as much as forty-five thousand times higher than the background rate. But extinction rates among many other groups are approaching amphibian levels. It is estimated that one-third of all reef-building corals, a third of all freshwater mollusks, a third of sharks and rays, a quarter of all mammals, a fifth of all reptiles, and a sixth of all birds are headed toward oblivion. The losses are occurring all over: in the South Pacific and in the North Atlantic, in the Arctic and the Sahel, in lakes and on islands, on mountaintops and in valleys. If you know how to look, you can probably find signs of the current extinction event in your own backyard.
Elizabeth Kolbert (The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History)
I argue against purism not because I want a devastated world, the Mordor of industrial capitalism emerging as from a closely aligned alternate universe through our floating islands of plastic gradually breaking down into microbeads consumed by the scant marine life left alive after generations of overfishing, bottom scraping, and coral reef–killing ocean acidification; our human-caused, place-devastating elevated sea levels; our earth-shaking, water poisoning fracking; our toxic lakes made of the externalities of rare-earth mineral production for so-called advanced electronics; our soul-and-life destroying prisons; our oil spills; our children playing with bits of dirty bombs; our white phosphorus; our generations of trauma held in the body; our cancers; and I could go on. I argue against purism because it is one bad but common approach to devastation in all its forms. It is a common approach for anyone who attempts to meet and control a complex situation that is fundamentally outside our control. It is a bad approach because it shuts down precisely the field of possibility that might allow us to take better collective action against the destruction of the world in all its strange, delightful, impure frolic. Purism is a de-collectivizing, de-mobilizing, paradoxical politics of despair. This world deserves better.
Alexis Shotwell (Against Purity: Living Ethically in Compromised Times (Posthumanities))
Farther out beyond the reef, where the coral gives way to the true deep, at a certain time of day a tribe of flat silver fish gather in their thousands. To be there is to be surrounded by living shards of light. At a secret signal, all is chaos, a thousand mirrors shattering about him. Then the school speeds to sea and the boy is left in sedate water, a tug and pull of the body as comfortable as sitting in his father’s outspread sarong being sung to sleep.
Nayomi Munaweera (Island of a Thousand Mirrors)
A Sag Harbor ship visited his father’s bay, and Queequeg sought a passage to Christian lands. But the ship, having her full complement of seamen, spurned his suit; and not all the King his father’s influence could prevail. But Queequeg vowed a vow. Alone in his canoe, he paddled off to a distant strait, which he knew the ship must pass through when she quitted the island. On one side was a coral reef; on the other a low tongue of land, covered with mangrove thickets that grew out into the water. Hiding his canoe, still afloat, among these thickets, with its prow seaward, he sat down in the stern, paddle low in hand; and when the ship was gliding by, like a flash he darted out; gained her side; with one backward dash of his foot capsized and sank his canoe; climbed up the chains; and throwing himself at full length upon the deck, grappled a ring-bolt there, and swore not to let it go, though hacked in pieces.
Herman Melville (Moby-Dick or, the Whale)
As I write these lines I lift my eyes and look seaward.  I am on the beach of Waikiki on the island of Oahu.  Far, in the azure sky, the trade-wind clouds drift low over the blue-green turquoise of the deep sea.  Nearer, the sea is emerald and light olive-green.  Then comes the reef, where the water is all slaty purple flecked with red.  Still nearer are brighter greens and tans, lying in alternate stripes and showing where sandbeds lie between the living coral banks.  Through and over and out of these wonderful colours tumbles and thunders a magnificent surf.
Jack London (The Cruise of the Snark (Illustrated) (Annotated))
I REMEMBER the day the Aleut ship came to our island. At first it seemed like a small shell afloat on the sea. Then it grew larger and was a gull with folded wings. At last in the rising sun it became what it really was—a red ship with two red sails. My brother and I had gone to the head of a canyon that winds down to a little harbor which is called Coral Cove. We had gone to gather roots that grow there in the spring. My brother Ramo was only a little boy half my age, which was twelve. He was small for one who had lived so many suns and moons, but quick as a cricket. Also foolish as a cricket when he was excited. For this reason and because I wanted him to help me gather roots and not go running off, I said nothing about the shell I saw or the gull with folded wings. I went on digging in the brush with my pointed stick as though nothing at all were happening on the sea. Even when I knew for sure that the gull was a ship with two red sails. But Ramo’s eyes missed little in the world. They were black like a lizard’s and very large and, like the eyes of a lizard, could sometimes look sleepy. This was the time when they saw the most. This was the way they looked now. They were half-closed, like those of a lizard lying on a rock about to flick out its tongue to catch a fly. “The sea is smooth,” Ramo said. “It is a flat stone without any scratches.” My brother liked to pretend that one thing was another. “The sea is not a stone without scratches,” I said. “It is water and no waves.” “To me it is a blue stone,” he said. “And far away on the edge of it is a small cloud which sits on the stone.” “Clouds do not sit on stones. On blue ones or black ones or any kind of stones.” “This one does.” “Not on the sea,” I said. “Dolphins sit there, and gulls, and cormorants, and otter, and whales too, but not clouds.” “It is a whale, maybe.” Ramo was standing on one foot and then the other, watching the ship coming, which he did not know was a ship because he had never seen one. I had never seen one either, but I knew how they looked because I had been told. “While you gaze at the sea,” I said, “I dig roots. And it is I who will eat them and you who will not.” Ramo began to punch at the earth with his stick, but as the ship came closer, its sails showing red through the morning mist, he kept watching it, acting all the time as if he were not. “Have you ever seen a red whale?” he asked. “Yes,” I said, though I never had. “Those I have seen are gray.” “You are very young and have not seen everything that swims in the world.” Ramo picked up a root and was about to drop it into the basket. Suddenly his mouth opened wide and then closed again. “A canoe!” he cried. “A great one, bigger than all of our canoes together. And red!” A canoe or a ship, it did not matter to Ramo. In the very next breath he tossed the root in the air and was gone, crashing through the brush, shouting as he went. I kept on gathering roots, but my hands trembled as I dug in the earth, for I was more excited than my brother. I knew that it was a ship there on the
Scott O'Dell (Island of the Blue Dolphins)
Consider it this way. The present is a split second, so tiny and trivial as to be immaterial. Everything else, everything real and substantial, is a coral reef of dead split seconds, forming the islands and continents of our reality. Every moment is a brick in the wall of the past, building enormous structures that have identity and meaning, cities we live in. The future is wet shapeless clay, the present is so brief it barely exists, but the past houses and shelters us, gives us a home and a name; and the mortar that binds those bricks, that stops them from sliding apart into a nettle-shrouded ruin, is memory.
K.J. Parker (The Last Witness)
I have since learned, however, that this want of observation is a sad and very common infirmity of human nature, there being hundreds of persons before whose eyes the most wonderful things are passing every day who nevertheless, are totally ignorant of them. I therefore have to record my sympathy with such persons, and to recommend to them a course of conduct which I have now for a long time myself adopted—namely, the habit of forcing my attention upon all things that go on around me, and of taking some degree of interest in them whether I feel it naturally or not. I suggest this the more earnestly, though humbly, because I have very frequently come to know that my indifference to a thing has generally been caused by my ignorance in regard to it. We
R.M. Ballantyne (The Coral Island)
I was straining to understand the worldview of the islanders whom we moved and lived among—and I had been doing so since before Guam, when I let myself sink deep into the coral-pebble speed-checkers subworld around the sakau bowl in Pohnpei. I had come here to learn, I figured, and not just a few things about some far-flung places and people. I wanted to learn new ways to be. I wanted to change, to feel less existentially alienated, to feel more at home in my skin, as they say, and in the world. This was a hopelessly New Age wish, and I would never have mentioned it to Bryan. But it came out in my quickness to pick up local expressions, local lore, wherever we found ourselves, and in my wholehearted admiration for subsistence farmers and fishermen, and the ease with which I fell into a kind of intimacy with many of the people we met. I had that facility with strangers, but it had a new intensity now, and I wondered if Bryan sometimes felt abandoned by me, or disgusted.
William Finnegan (Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life)
The Sailor-boy’s Gossip You say, dear mamma, it is good to be talking With those who will kindly endeavour to teach. And I think I have learnt something while I was walking Along with the sailor-boy down on the beach. He told me of lands where he soon will be going, Where humming-birds scarcely are bigger than bees, Where the mace and the nutmeg together are growing, And cinnamon formeth the bark of some trees. He told me that islands far out in the ocean Are mountains of coral that insects have made, And I freely confess I had hardly a notion That insects could world in the way that he said. He spoke of wide deserts where the sand-clouds are flying. No shade for the brow, and no grass for the feet; Where camels and travelers often lie dying, Gasping for water and scorching with heat. He told me of places away in the East, Where topaz, and ruby, and sapphires are found: Where you never are safe from the snake and the beast, For the serpent and tiger and jackal abound. I thought our own Thames was a very great stream, With its waters so fresh and its currents so strong; But how tiny our largest of rivers must seem To those he had sailed on, three thousand miles long. He speaks, dear mamma, of so many strange places, With people who neither have cities nor kings. Who wear skins on their shoulders, paint on their faces, And live on the spoils which their hunting-field brings. Oh! I long, dear mamma, to learn more of these stories, From books that are written to please and to teach, And I wish I could see half the curious glories The sailor-boy told me of down on the beach. Eliza Cook.
Charlotte M. Mason (Elementary Geography: Full Illustrations & Study Guides!)
The ocean made space for me, pressing against the blackness of my assumed skin, buoying me and counter-acting the heaviness of the lead fastened around my waist. I kicked and continued my initial dive, feeling the pressures sliding back against my belly and legs, the quiet acceptance of the seas. Space and oceans have much in common, both are alien to us, not our element, both contain mysteries, dangers, sudden beauties of their own and beyond our land-bound experience. But space is a container of nothingness, a vacuum, a void of immeasurable loneliness and occasional transcendence. Water is a repository of life, and the life asserts itself as you move through the ocean; creatures large and small, beautiful or stunningle grotesque according to their custom, aquatic forests and microscopic landscapes, beings caught between the layers of life, rocks made of living creatures and living creatures made of stone, vegetable animals and animated plants and sudden deep, heart-breaking, lovely jewels that flick their trailing rainbows and dart away from you between the fronds of weeds, leaving shimmering mysteries that can be pursued, but never truly caught and comprehended. Space does not care whether you are there or not, and the struggle to survive between worlds is a fight to avoid being sucked into a vacuum, into an ultimate nil. Implacable in its indifference, it kills you simply because it is, and crushes you with the weight of your knowledge of its indifference. But the ocean is not indifferent. It reacts and shapes itself to your presence or absence, presents its laws as implacable realities, but an instant later displays the very non-exemplar of that rule swimming calmly through the depths. Accept the strangeness and the ocean opens to you, gives you freedom and beauty, a hook into otherness. But wonder approached in fear is cancelled, disappears into threathening shiverings of distant plants, into terrifying movements of bulky darkness through the rocks.
Marta Randall (Islands)
The archaeologist attached to the Bayard Dominick’s Marquesan team had reported in 1925 that the Marquesas offered “few opportunities for archaeological research.” But in 1956, a new expedition set out to reexamine the possibilities in these islands at the eastern edge of the Polynesian Triangle. An energetic Columbia University graduate student named Robert Suggs was sent ahead to reconnoiter, and he quickly discovered that the previous generation had gotten it all wrong. Everywhere he looked, he saw archaeological potential. “We were seldom out of sight of some relic of the ancient Marquesan culture,” he writes. “Through all the valleys were scattered clusters of ruined house platforms. . . . Overgrown with weeds, half tumbled down beneath the weight of toppled trees and the pressure of the inexorable palm roots, these ancient village sites were sources of stone axes, carved stone pestles, skulls, and other sundry curios.” There were ceremonial plazas “hundreds of feet long” and, high on the cliffs above the deep valleys, “burial caves containing the remains of the population of centuries past.” The coup de grâce came when Suggs and his guide followed up on a report of a large number of “pig bones” in the dunes at a place called Ha‘atuatua. This windswept expanse of scrub and sand lies on the exposed eastern corner of Nuku Hiva. A decade earlier, in 1946, a tidal wave had cut away part of the beach, and since then bones and other artifacts had been washing out of the dunes. Not knowing quite what to expect, Suggs and his guide rode over on horseback. When they came out of the “hibiscus tangle” at the back of the beach and “caught sight of the debris washing down the slope,” he writes, “I nearly fell out of the saddle.” The bones that were scattered all along the slope and on the beach below were not pig bones but human bones! Ribs, vertebrae, thigh bones, bits of skull vault, and innumerable hand and foot bones were everywhere. At the edge of the bank a bleached female skull rested upside down, almost entirely exposed. Where the bank had been cut away, a dark horizontal band about two feet thick could be seen between layers of clean white sand. Embedded in this band were bits of charcoal and saucers of ash, fragments of pearl shell, stone and coral tools, and large fitted stones that appeared to be part of a buried pavement. They had discovered the remains of an entire village, complete with postholes, cooking pits, courtyards, and burials. The time was too short to explore the site fully, but the very next year, Suggs and his wife returned to examine it. There
Christina Thompson (Sea People: The Puzzle of Polynesia)
This is the sadness of the sea— waves like words, all broken— a sameness of lifting and falling mood. I lean watching the detail of brittle crest, the delicate imperfect foam, yellow weed one piece like another— There is no hope—if not a coral island slowly forming to wait for birds to drop the seeds will make it habitable
William Carlos Williams (Collected Poems: 1939-62 v. 2)
house – it hadn't changed much – I walked out of town towards the river-bed. It was February. As I looked across the dry water-course, my eye was immediately caught by the spectacular red blooms of the coral blossom. In contrast with the dry riverbed, the island was a small green paradise. When I went up to the trees, I noticed that some squirrels were living in them and a koel, a crow pheasant, challenged me with a mellow 'who-are-you, who-are-you'.
Ruskin Bond (Stories Short And Sweet)
French Polynesia embraces a vast ocean area strewn with faraway outer islands, each with a mystique of its own. The 118 islands and atolls are scattered over an expanse of water 18 times the size of California, though in dry land terms the territory is only slightly bigger than Rhode Island. The distance from one end of the island groups to another is four times further than from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Every oceanic island type is represented in these sprawling archipelagoes positioned midway between California and New Zealand. The coral atolls of the Tuamotus are so low they’re threatened by rising sea levels, while volcanic Tahiti soars to 2,241 meters. Bora Bora and Maupiti, also high volcanic islands, rise from the lagoons of what would otherwise be atolls.
David A W Stanley (Moon Tahiti (Moon Handbooks))
Fletcher was aware that the Japanese invasion force headed for Tulagi had been sighted as it approached the Solomon Islands, but he didn’t know that Task Force 11, which had completed refueling ahead of schedule, was only 69 miles east of Task Force 17.
Hourly History (Battle of the Coral Sea - World War II: A History from Beginning to End (World War 2 Battles))
The most desirable sea mollusk on the planet is the queen conch, too scrumptious for its own good. Once abundant throughout the shallows and coral reefs of South Florida, the slow-growing snail was nearly wiped out by fritter-crazed divers in the 1970s. Domestic harvesting of the species was outlawed. Today, the United States consumes eighty percent of all commercially sold conch. Most of it comes from the Bahamas and Caribbean islands, where the spiky, porcelain-lipped shells are plucked from the bottom one at a time by free divers. A small pick or screwdriver is used to punch a hole in the tip, severing the tissue connecting the animal’s tough, coiled body to its mobile lair. The flesh—a slimy, unappealing muscle—is then pulled from the shell and tenderized with a mallet.
Carl Hiaasen (Squeeze Me (Skink #8))
Coral Harper (The Nantucket Estate, Part 5 (Haven Island #5))
Dinsdale and Rohwer found that as humans become more common, so do microbes. From Kingman to Christmas Island, top predators such as sharks went from dominant parts of the reefs to bit-players, coral cover fell from 45 percent to 15 percent, and the water contained 10 times as many microbes and viruses. All of these trends are connected in a complicated web of cause and effect that revolves around a turf war between corals and their ancient rivals: the so-called 'fleshy algae'.
Ed Yong (I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life)
Can I go home?” Chuckle. “Not unless you’re a real good swimmer. We’re on an island, Danny Boy. It’s about five square miles or so, but there’s nothing but water as far as the eye can see. Even if you’re a good swimmer, I don’t recommend it. Sharks and ship-eating coral and the like will tear you up.
Tony Bertauski (The Annihilation of Foreverland (Foreverland, #1))
Put a feather with a fossil and a bit of coral and everyone will think it's a specimen. Put the same feather with a ribbon and an artificial flower and everyone will think it's for a lady's hat. Put the same feather with an ink-bottle, a book and a stack of writing-paper, and most men will swear they've seen a quill pen. So you saw that map among tropic birds and shells and thought it was a map of Pacific Islands. It was the map of this river.
G.K. Chesterton
There is indeed compelling evidence of a series of massive glacial surges at the end of the last Ice Age. These correlate with meltwater pulses and peaks of sea-level rise, recorded, for example, in 'drowned' reefs of Acropora palmata from the Caribbean-Atlantic region near the island of Barbados. Acropora is an efficient tracker of rising sea-level because it is a light-loving coral that dies at depths greater than about 10 meters. The Barbados reefs were drowned three times at the end of the last Ice Age -- at approximately 14,000, 11,000 and 8000 years ago -- and so suddenly and deeply on each occasion that they now form three distinct steps, one for each flooding peak (rather than having crept towards shallower water as would have been the case with more gradual sea-level rises).
Graham Hancock (Underworld: The Mysterious Origins of Civilization)
From all these things I came at length to understand that things very opposite and dissimilar in themselves, when united, do make an agreeable whole; as, for example, we three on this our island, although most unlike in many things, when united, made a trio so harmonious that I question if there ever met before such an agreeable triumvirate. There was, indeed, no note of discord whatever in the symphony we played together on that sweet Coral Island; and I am now persuaded that this was owing to our having been all tuned to the same key—namely, that of love! Yes, we loved one another with much fervency while we lived on that island; and, for the matter of that, we love each other still.
R.M. Ballantyne (The Coral Island)
Unpacking a Globe I gaze at the Pacific and don’t expect to ever see the heads on Easter Island, though I guess at sunlight rippling the yellow grasses sloping to shore; yesterday a doe ate grass in the orchard: it lifted its ears and stopped eating when it sensed us watching from a glass hallway—in his sleep, a veteran sweats, defusing a land mine. On the globe, I mark the Battle of the Coral Sea—no one frets at that now. A poem can never be too dark, I nod and, staring at the Kenai, hear ice breaking up along an inlet; yesterday a coyote trotted across my headlights and turned his head but didn’t break stride; that’s how I want to live on this planet: alive to a rabbit at a glass door— and flower where there is no flower.
Arthur Sze
In fact, it is unlikely that all the men on the island went in search of food and water. While some went foraging, others would have set about building rough shelters, thatched with palm fronds, above the high-water mark. At the same time, sailors, probably under the watchful eye of Sir George Somers, made repeated trips to the grounded vessel, salvaging anything that might be of service. Planks above the waterline were torn from the ship’s oaken frames and hauled ashore along with hatches and any undamaged spars that could be removed and metal fittings and canvas and cordage and tools and even books and the important charts from Newport’s cabin and, of course, the instructions and a copy of the new Virginia charter given to Gates by the officers of the Virginia Company in London. Somehow the heavy ship’s bell was hauled ashore, as were several heavy cooking kettles and at least one of the smallest cannon. Within days, though, the salvage operation came to an end as the Sea Venture slipped beneath the waves, to rest where her bones still lie, between the two coral outcroppings that trapped her. Even though the survivors must have known the ship was lost once it struck the reef,
Kieran Doherty (Sea Venture: Shipwreck, Survival, and the Salvation of Jamestown)
Even after its discovery, Bermuda remained a no-man’s-land. The maze of reefs and coral heads that nearly surround the islands make approaching the Bermudas a scary business.
Kieran Doherty (Sea Venture: Shipwreck, Survival, and the Salvation of Jamestown)
According to Oviedo’s history, a Portuguese ship bound for home port from San Domingo was driven onto the Bermudan reefs in 1542 or early 1543. Fortunately for the thirty seamen on the vessel, the ship—like the Sea Venture almost seven decades later—was held in the grip of the coral, kept afloat long enough for the crew to salvage provisions, tools, spars, sails, and shrouds. Over the next four months, they constructed a new vessel they used to sail to San Domingo. It may have been one of the sailors from this Portuguese vessel who climbed to a cliff seventy feet above the sea on Bermuda’s south shore where he carved a cross, the date—“1543”—and what appear to be the letters TF or RP. No one knows for sure just what this carving represents. If the letters are TF, they might be some marooned or shipwrecked mariner’s initials, carved as a memorial to himself as he stared out to sea, searching for the sight of a friendly sail. If RP, they may stand for Rex Portugaline, representing an early Portuguese claim to the islands.
Kieran Doherty (Sea Venture: Shipwreck, Survival, and the Salvation of Jamestown)
Atolls are home to more than a quarter of the world’s marine fish species, a mind-boggling array of angelfish, clown fish, batfish, parrotfish, snappers, puffers, emperors, jacks, rays, wrasses, barracudas, and sharks. And that’s without even mentioning all the other sea creatures—the turtles, lobsters, porpoises, squid, snails, clams, crabs, urchins, oysters, and the whole exotic understory of the corals themselves. Atolls are also an obvious haven for birds, both those that range over the ocean by day and return to the islands at night and those that migrate thousands of miles, summering in places like Alaska and wintering over in the tropics.
Christina Thompson (Sea People: The Puzzle of Polynesia)
A feathered arrow without a barb,” said he, “is a good weapon, but a barbed arrow without feathers is utterly useless.
R.M. Ballantyne (The Coral Island)
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;
Hank Bracker
January 2013 Andy’s Message   Hi Young, I’m home after two weeks in Tasmania. My rowing team was the runner-up at the Lindisfarne annual rowing competition. Since you were so forthright with your OBSS experiences, I’ll reciprocate with a tale of my own from the Philippines.☺               The Canadian GLBT rowing club had organised a fun excursion to Palawan Island back in 1977. This remote island was filled with an abundance of wildlife, forested mountains and beautiful pristine beaches.               It is rated by the National Geographic Traveller magazine as the best island destination in East and South-East Asia and ranked the thirteenth-best island in the world. In those days, this locale was vastly uninhabited, except by a handful of residents who were fishermen or local business owners.               We stayed in a series of huts, built above the ocean on stilts. These did not have shower or toilet facilities; lodgers had to wade through knee-deep waters or swim to shore to do their business. This place was a marvellous retreat for self-discovery and rejuvenation. I was glad I didn’t have to room with my travelling buddies and had a hut to myself.               I had a great time frolicking on the clear aquiline waters where virgin corals and unperturbed sea-life thrived without tourist intrusions. When we travelled into Lungsodng Puerto Princesa (City of Puerto Princesa) for food and a shower, the locals gawked at us - six Caucasian men and two women - as if we had descended from another planet. For a few pesos, a family-run eatery agreed to let us use their outdoor shower facility. A waist-high wooden wall, loosely constructed, separated the bather from a forest at the rear of the house. In the midst of my shower, I noticed a local adolescent peeping from behind a tree in the woods. I pretended not to notice as he watched me lathe and played with himself. I was turned on by this lascivious display of sexual gratification. The further I soaped, the more aroused I became. Through the gaps of the wooden planks, the boy caught glimpses of my erection – like a peep show in a sex shop, I titillated the teenager. His eyes were glued to my every move, so much so that he wasn’t aware that his friend had creeped up from behind. When he felt an extra hand on his throbbing hardness, he let out a yelp of astonishment. Before long, the boys were masturbating each other. They stroked one another without mortification, as if they had done this before, while watching my exhibitionistic performance carefully. This concupiscent carnality excited me tremendously. Unfortunately, my imminent release was punctured by a fellow member hollering for me to vacate the space for his turn, since I’d been showering for quite a while. I finished my performance with an anticlimactic final, leaving the boys to their own devices. But this was not the end of our chance encounter. There is more to ‘cum’ in my next correspondence!               Much love and kisses,               Andy
Young (Turpitude (A Harem Boy's Saga Book 4))
The Adventures of Dickson McCunn, Adam Bede, Eric or Little by Little, these and many others, old and new, good bad and indifferent were grist to Duggie’s mill. He found a novel by Rhoda Broughton entitled Not Wisely But Too Well and read it all through. He read an abridged version of Robinson Crusoe, and Under Two Flags and Coral Island with equal concentration. He read Little Women and Wuthering Heights. Cheyney he found difficult, for the people seemed to speak an unfamiliar language, but he struggled on manfully all the same. Needless
D.E. Stevenson (Shoulder the Sky (Dering Family, #3))
Coe’s expansive boundaries encompassed more than two million acres of the southern Everglades, Florida Bay, Ten Thousand Islands, Big Cypress, and the upper Keys, stretching as far north as fifteen miles above the Tamiami Trail highway and as far east as the barrier reefs in the Atlantic. The primary goa was the preserve the ecosystems’ vast diversity of habitats in their primitive condition- pinelands and marshlands, estuaries and sloughs, dwarf cypress and elk horn coral. A secondary goal was half a million annual visitors, buts the botanist David Fairchild explained at a congresisonal hearing, the Everglades was not Yosemite, and its entertainment value would be only part of its appeal. It would also educate children, provide a unique laboratory for scientists, protect rare flora and fauna from extinction, and “Startle Americans out of the runs which an exclusive association with he human animal produces in the mind of man.
Michael Grunwald (The Swamp: The Everglades, Florida, and the Politics of Paradise)
we were a very insufficient crew for such a vessel; and if any one had proposed to us to make such a voyage in it before we had been forced to go through so many hardships from necessity, we would have turned away with pity from the individual making such proposal as from a madman. I pondered this a good deal, and at last concluded that men do not know how much they are capable of doing till they try, and that we should never give way to despair in any undertaking, however difficult it may seem—
R.M. Ballantyne (The Coral Island)
Bright coral and sand spread thirty-five feet below, crisp in the air-clear water. Blue clouds of Creole wrasse parted as Hugh dropped. White and yellow flashes of yellowtail snapper flitting past. How could he have questioned if coming back here was the right thing? Bubbles rose from five buddy teams. Swimming five different directions. Hugh kicked hard after the nearest pair.
Tim W. Jackson (Blacktip Island)
Sunlit bazaars in exotic cities thronged with faces that were transparent masks for insectoid countenances; moonlit streets in antique towns harbored a strange-eyed slithering within their very stones; dim galleries of empty museums sprouted a ghostly mold that mirrored the sullen hues of old paintings; the land at the edge of oceans gave birth to a new evolution transcending biology and remote islands offered themselves as a haven for forms having no analogy outside of dreams; jungles teemed with beast-like shapes that moved beside the sticky luxuriance as well as through the depths of its pulpy warmth; deserts were alive with an uncanny flux of sounds which might enter and animate the world of substance; and subterranean landscapes heaved with cadaverous generations that had sunken and merged into sculptures of human coral, bodies heaped and unwhole, limbs projecting without order, eyes scattered and searching the darkness.
Thomas Ligotti (Grimscribe: His Lives and Works)
furniture. The house felt so empty now he was gone. He was only one person, but the noise he generated when he was home was enough that she never felt lonely. Now, it was a different story. The house was like a cavern. Every sound she made echoed through its empty halls and bounced off the tiles. She’d never really thought of the tiled floor as cold before, but since Harry left home, she’d found herself visiting carpeting shops to look through swatches. She’d talked to Preston about giving the house a facelift, maybe getting an interior decorator
Lilly Mirren (The Island (Coral Island Book 1))
Lilly Mirren (The Island (Coral Island Book 1))
There were no smaller houses in their neighbourhood, so it would mean leaving everyone they knew behind and starting over somewhere else. Surely he couldn’t mean it. But instead of addressing these questions to the side of his head, she ignored the niggling thoughts and decided not to raise the subject again for a while since he’d seemed perfectly content with their sprawling suburban property
Lilly Mirren (The Island (Coral Island Book 1))
Lilly Mirren (The Island (Coral Island Book 1))
You spent a lifetime raising his children and gave up your career to do it. Meanwhile, he makes a fortune in his job and retirement savings because he had your support at home, and you’re left virtually unemployable.
Lilly Mirren (The Island (Coral Island Book 1))
It’s a normal rite of passage — stupidity and rebellion followed by repentance and reconciliation.
Lilly Mirren (The Island (Coral Island Book 1))
The Great Barrier Reef is so extensive that no human mind can take it in, the exception perhaps being astronauts who've seen its full length from outer space. Gigantism pervades its statistics. Roughly half the size of Texas, it encloses some 215,000 square miles of coastland, sea, and coral. It extends for about 1,430 miles along Australia's east coast, and encompasses around three thousand individual reefs and a thousand islands. So vast is it, in fact, that it's only since the 1970s, with the establishment of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, that a size has been more or less agreed upon. Prior to that, explorers and navigators gave varying figures for its length.
Iain McCalman (The Reef: A Passionate History: The Great Barrier Reef from Captain Cook to Climate Change)
It's like a body,' I say suddenly, surprised myself at the thought. 'What is?' asks Coral. 'The book. The Gospels. They're made of skin. The skin of calves. And the words and pictures were marked on the skin. The book is like a body with writing on it. The words are like tattoos.
David Almond (Island)
I am happy. I am a baby, a toddler, a girl, a woman. I am Island. I am Lindisfarne. Everything comes together inside me. I know that I will go to Palmyra one day when peace has come, just as people come to Lindisfarne, just as Coral will go to Vietnam. War is not for ever. Peace will come. Civilisation will endure. The destroyers will overcome. The human heart will love and thrive.
David Almond (Island)