Bittersweet, adj. : both pleasant and painful

It’s hard to put into words all of the emotions running through our bodies or the thoughts racing through our minds on the last days here on Green Island, Kure Atoll. As the hour’s tick by, we can’t help but feel our time here in this amazing place slipping away. We will miss staring at the ‘iwa soaring high overhead with their prehistoric forms, watching the ducks foraging around camp with their broods, and sitting on the beach during the last hours of sunlight. It’s easy to see why we call Kure home. From the moment we set foot on Kure’s shores, she has welcomed us with her beauty, mystery, and charisma. For some of us, this field season was a first, for others, it was just another summer spent in a home away from home. Remote field camps test our limits but also redefines our lines. We are not the same people that we were a few months ago–Kure has enchanted us all. Rain will never again mean so much, a cool dip in the lagoon will never again be so inviting, and naupaka will never again be just a bush on the side of the road. The connection we feel to all of these things is what has made Kure such an adventure. As we spent these last few days packing, cleaning and organizing we are reminded of why we chose to come here. We are all so proud of the work we have accomplished here on Kure and are so grateful for the opportunity to have done so. On Monday, when we stand on the beach for the last time and swap out with the winter crew, we will be leaving fulfilled, excited, and yet saddened to go. As we oli with the new crew they will see in our eyes just how special Kure is to us and they will feel our overwhelming connection to this captivating place. The summer 2018 crew wants to say a huge thank you to all of those who have followed us along on this journey, your continued love and support has been much appreciated. We will surely miss Kure but we are all so excited to say, “See you soon!”.

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