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Lighthouse Tales: Just another island

Living on Battery Point Island reminds me of the last lime I lived on a small island, Midway.

In the early 1970s, I was in the U.S. Navy and for a year and a half I was stationed on Midway Island.

Midway was a little bigger than Battery Point Island but it was very similar in many ways.

Midway Island

Midway is actually three islands situated on a coral atoll. The biggest island, Sand Island, was about two and a half miles across. However, Battery Point Island is much higher. Mt. Midway was only about twelve feet high.

If you ever watch the movie "Mr. Roberts," you will see Midway Island in the background.

Going to the birds

Both islands have a variety of birds but not the same kind of birds.The most common birds on Midway are the Laysan Albatross that are more commonly known as gooney birds.

These birds look like giant seagulls standing about two to two and a half feet tall. They are the most graceful birds in the world when they fly, but on the ground, they are about the most clumsy birds that you will find, thus their name.

Time on a tugboat

My job on Midway was as a crewmember on a tugboat, the YTB-776.

We would assist ships coming into and going out of the harbor and more often than not we would go outside the reef and troll for tuna and whatever we could catch. We had to do our fishing outside the reef because inside the reef the fish ate coral.

Oftentimes other fish would eat fish that ate coral and people could get coral poisoning if they ate those fish.

‘Good Morning, Midway'

During my free time I was involved with the little newspaper we had that was published by the Public Affairs Office.

They also had a radio station and a television station. I became a disc jockey on Midway and later helped with television production. I was a part -time weatherman even though I didn't know a stationary front from a low-pressure area.

As a disc jockey I liked to play the oldies on Saturday morning.

My most requested song was "Leaving on a Jet Plane." It seemed that most people just wanted to leave Midway as soon as possible.

I, however, loved it there and I love Battery Point. There is something about being surrounded by water and all the birds and animals that hang out there.

We love to whale watch here at Battery Point because even if we see no whales it's nice to just spend time looking at the water.

Randy Ansley, the Battery Point Lighthouse keeper, can be reached at

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