Drink deeply and be transported back to the island in the mists. You have discovered Tatua, the island of the King.
Journal Log - Day 67 - March 3rd - 05:45AM
South Pacific - Horse Latitudes - 34 deg. S
Entry Log -We were just awoken early to the call of "Land!" by the first mate on the watch. Pulling my trousers over my now sweat-stained undergarments, I along with the others in our science team, rushed in the dawn twilight to the pitching deck to see what we could see. Now more than two months at sea, after leaving London on New Years Day, we were worn down and ready to see land again! Yet the vision of the isle made me strangely uneasy. There she was, the island we had hoped to discover was now before us. An atoll shrouded in myth and superstition was now just off the port beam of the reliable, if slow and miserable, HMS Elizabeth steam trawler.
The captain, an old whale hunter, slowed the 130' ship to a crawl as the crew sounded the depth looking for a passage through the treacherous reefs. These reefs guarded the island only known as the Tatua in the ancient maps we had found buried deep in the catacombs of the Library of London. Polynesian for "terrifying monster" one could only assume too much superstition affected the island tribes in this region of the deep South Pacific. Yet as researchers, the task before us was to make a landing and document flora and fauna that no man has seen. For 12 days we would be on the island before the ship returned for us. The captain refusing to stay due to incoming tropical storms.
The high mountain cliffs of the island thrust above the thick jungle canopy that ran to the beach below. In the early light, could it be my eyes played a game with my mind? I can only say that a series of caves cut into the cliff face gave the vague appearance of a massive ominous skull. Just as I made this realization, a thunderous sound came across the water and set us back from the rail in shock. A roar of tremendous volume it was! Winston the photographer said it must be the waves echoing from the sea caves. Yet Rondak, the South Pacific tracker and my faithful companion, only said "Tatua" in a low whisper.... and turned to return to his cabin below.
The ropes and pulleys began to lower the landing boats as the crew barked orders left and right. I must return to my quarters and prepare to go ashore. May God help us and carry us home again.
- W.C. Livingston - Esquire - Explorer and Associate to the Explorers Club of England - 1932