For me, one of the joys of travel...
... is learning something unexpected, something I didn't expect, something that makes me wonder at the world, and how/why things are the way they are.
Not long ago, I was in Fiji, diving in the Somosomo Strait, a channel that flows between the island of Taveuni and Vanu Levu. In the map below, I've marked Taveuni Island and the strait.
|Taveuni Island, the Somosomo Strait, and Vanua Levu, the big island to the west.
Taveuni is a lovely South Pacific tropical island with remarkable diving, waterfalls, lush vegetation, and a plethora of reefs and little islands to visit. Here's a bit of a larger view, just to give you an idea of where this is:
That blue dot is where Taveuni sits, midway between the Solomon Islands and the Cook Islands. It's 1865 miles (3001 km) to the closest point of Australia, and a 13 hour flight from Los Angeles. It also happens to be right on the International Date Line, so you can walk from today to tomorrow in just a step or two.
We'll doubtlessly have future Challenges about the fish and corals, but this week I have a different Challenge for you.
While I was staying at the Nakia Lodge, I took a lot of photos, including this one:
And this one:
In both of these images, you'll see a small island rising up out of the sea. (It's obvious in the first photo, a little more hidden in the second, but it's the same island.)
This is what that island looks like up close as you paddle in on a kayak:
It's your dream island: It's small (maybe 1 acre in size), with a little sandy beach, nice snorkeling, lush trees, easy to get to from the island, etc.
In the second photo (with the palm trees), I'm standing at the edge of the Lodge, at -16.741502,-179.950285 -- the photo angle of the first shot is about like this:
|The angle of photo #2 (above).
Now, of course, I'm curious... and you know where that leads...
I'm asking, because when I zoom in on the map, this is what I see:
And it doesn't matter if I zoom in with the satellite view... there's nothing there!
And yet I know, from personal experience, that this small island is basically due west of Somosomo.
So.. I was able to figure it out. Can you?
1. What is the name of that mysterious, seemingly missing-in-action island? It's big enough to be on the map, and definitely big enough to show up in the satellite photos... so... what is it?
As always, we want more than just the answer--we also want to know WHAT you did to find the answer!
I'll reveal my method next week.
In the meantime... Happy New Year!