Fairchild Tropical Garden Expedition aboard the Cheng Ho 1939-1940
NOVEMBER 1939
 
 
 
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DECEMBER 1939
 
 
 
 
 
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JANUARY 1940
 
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FEBRUARY 1940
 
 
 
 
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NOV 1939
25

Midway to Wake

Written by Edward Beckwith on Saturday, November 25, 1939

China Clipper, Pan American Airways brochure

China Clipper, Pan American Airways brochure, circa 1937. By Telstar Logistics
Wake Island

Wake Island, photographed in 2009.
Called at 4:45 after a very good sleep. It was raining heavily but it cleared and we took off around 7. More room in the plane with only 11 passengers. Distance to Wake only 1200 miles. Flight between two layers of clouds, smooth and uneventful and no steamers sighted. Arrived early, about 1:15 PM at Wake. The island had a lagoon somewhat similar to that of Midway. The temp. was considerably higher. I asked the steward about taking my camera ashore. He said it was against Naval regulations.

There were no Gooney birds (Laysan albatross) but a great many terns and a small rat (Polynesian Rat) which was present everywhere. They told me they had tried to exterminate it with poison. Seemed unreasonable as they are harmless and not destructive. Reason given, “They frighten the ladies”.

The inn was in general similar to the one at Midway with identical room furnishings!

Just as the Gooneys were the most interesting feature at Midway, is the “Hydroponics” garden was the most unusual feature here. I was somewhat disappointed in it as they were only raising tomatoes. There were plans for extending it to other vegetables. I found that Mr. Lyons who had charge was on the Rainbow Bridge-Monument Valley Expedition of 1936 so we had a congenial talk.

One thing that surprised me was that the concentration of mineral in the water was so low that the solution looked like pure water and was tasteless. Lyons said they had imported soil from Midway but that there was just as good soil in spots here.

Most of the others went in swimming but I took a walk alone, on the beach and across the island. There was thick vegetation and little appearance of dryness. This island was uninhabited until Pan American came.

Sat at dinner with Doria and Mr. Strup, a Hollander who is going to Manila for 2 years for a cosmetics firm. Turned in at 8:30.

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