The Island of Borneo’s crown jewel—Brunei

Ask most folks where the oil-rich Muslim nation of Brunei is and they place it somewhere near Saudi Arabia. But in reality it’s in East Asia—plunked on top of Borneo like a cherry atop a tropical ice cream sundae. The two countries could not be more dissimilar. Borneo is a very poor, rural country with…

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Treasure Island

Smack dab in the middle of San Francisco Bay is an island of relatively recent manufacture called Treasure Island. Robert Louis Stevenson made so much money from his book of the same name that he spent his entire fortune building this 400-acre island. His aim was to grow dental floss, which he predicted would both…

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Bikini Atoll

If you look up ‘most dangerous islands’ in the world, you always find Bikini Atoll on the list. First, let’s clear this up. Is the bathing suit named for the atoll or what? Yes, it is. On July 5, 1946, French designer Louis Réard unveiled a provocative two-piece swimsuit at a popular swimming pool in…

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The Island of Sumbawa

I used to think that the explosion of Krakatoa in 1883 was THE BIG ONE, but not compared to the time in 1815 when Mt. Tambora on Sumbawa Island (in today’s Indonesia) detonated. There had been nothing on this scale since the Lake Taupo eruption in New Zealand 1700 years earlier. So much ash was…

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Ferdinand Magellan

This magazine is called Pacific Voyages and features both Pacific Islands as well as Pacific Voyages. There is no more legendary voyage than that of Ferdinand Magellan. He is credited as the first man to circumnavigate the world. Yet he died on a beach in today’s Philippines, his body a pincushion of bamboo spears and…

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Chuuk or Truk Island

Chuuk Lagoon—formerly Truk Atoll is home to about 36,000 Micronesians who live on this quiet 820 sq. mile island which is now part of the Federated States of Micronesia. It was not always so peaceful.  The island group is known as The Carolinas and the indigenous population dates back thousands of years. In 1528 a…

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Alcatraz

Not all the Pacific islands are 6,000 miles from home (if you live in San Francisco); and where, back in the day, the cannibals might eat you and your boots. No, but because I claim that San Francisco Bay is part of the Pacific, I include: “The Rock.” And just a rock it was until…

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Howland Island

Amelia Earhart’s life and career have been celebrated for the past several decades on “Amelia Earhart Day,” which is held annually on July 24 — her birthday.  Nearly everyone knows the story of her flight that came to a tragic conclusion somewhere short of one of her last stops on her round-the-world record attempt. She…

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Lord of the Flies Island

There are countless books and movies based on real events, but how about a real event that took place after the novel and the movie were made? One of the top 100 most read books in Western literature is Lord of the Flies, a 1951 novel by Nobel Prize winning British author William Golding. The…

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TETIAROA or BRANDO’S ISLAND

You can’t exactly buy a Tahitian Island if you aren’t Tahitian, but in Marlon Brando’s case, he was able to lease one for 99 years. Tetiaroa Atoll is about 30 miles from Tahiti and was long considered a crown jewel in Polynesia. This was where Tahitian royalty went for R and R from their tough…

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Fiji: The Cannibal Islands, a place you may very well go

If you were to visit one place in the Pacific, I would say Fiji. Here, I have never found anything but happy surprises. It wasn’t always this way. There is much to say about cannibalism in this region, but it really came into its own in Fiji. It’s been over 150 years since the last…

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Isla Nublar

Isla Nublar is at once real and entirely fictitious. Imagine an island off the west coast of Costa Rica that for centuries was a favorite place for pirates to bury treasure, and a dumping ground for tyrants to maroon doomed smallpox victims. Oh, and then cover the place with dinosaurs run amuck; mix in some…

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Pitcairn Island

For over 50 years I have longed to visit Pitcairn Island. Not anymore. The story of Pitcairn and the Mutiny on the Bounty is the stuff of legends. There have been several films on the subject, and many years ago I knew a fellow who was in the first one with Clark Gable and Charles…

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Lubang Island

Lubang Island was the home of the last the Samurai warrior of the Japanese Imperial Army from the conclusion of WWII in 1945 and for the next 29 years. Three hours by boat from Manila in the Philippines is the Island of Lubian. Today it’s a local tourist area with about 20,000 residents. But it…

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Terminal Island

Terminal Island is a largely artificial island in the middle of Los Angles harbor. The original island was called Rattlesnake Island, and later, they dug up an adjacent 60-acre island called Dead Man’s Island to expand Rattlesnake Island. This is the place where Howard Hughes launched the epic Spruce Goose (above) and flew it on…

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Battleship Island

I say fire up the boilers, weigh anchor and let’s set sail! Hashima Island or more commonly Gunkanjima (meaning battleship island) is 9 miles from Nagasaki in Japan. It is one of 505 uninhabited islands in the Nagasaki Prefecture. Wow, lots to explore here. The island’s most notable features are its abandoned concrete buildings, undisturbed…

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Ball’s Pyramid

Ball’s Pyramid is an eroded remnant of a volcanic cone 400 miles east of Sydney, Australia. It is 1,844’ high, while measuring only 3,600’ long and 980’ across, making it the tallest volcanic stack in the world. A record not soon to be broken I’ll reckon. The pyramid is named after Royal Navy Lieutenant Henry…

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Gravina Island

Back when politics was still funny there was the ‘Bridge to Nowhere’ in Alaska. I absolutely love this story. Even in this age of the most unsettling leader since Nero, this story is amazing. In 2005 a congressional delegation was pushing for and was allocated $395,000,000 to build a bridge to Gravina Island to serve…

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Robinson Crusoe

Más a Tierra used to be the name of an island 400 miles off Chile until it was officially renamed Robinson Crusoe Island in 1966. This is where Alexander Selkirk was marooned for four years and four months starting in 1704. Unlike Clipperton, the last island I reported on, this is a paradise. Selkirk survived…

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Clipperton Island

I have always found it such an anomaly that this 2.3 square mile island is just 700 miles off the coast of Mexico but 6,600 miles from Paris and that it remains French. It seems that despite the aerial view it’s no prize, and I suspect that if Peter Thiel made them an all cash…

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Created by Captain Jamis MacNiven (Editorial) & Chief Officer Ryan Sport (Design)

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