Bill Swingle's Photo Gallery

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Kwaj #1.jpg
Winds on Kwaj-662 viewsThe winds blow for MONTHS at a time. Even at 2 in the morning (I CHECKED)! Sad that there isn't a slope for several THOUSAND miles in ANY direction! Living in the Sierras; I'd forgotten how FLAT the ocean is. Duh!
Airspeed Indicator 1.jpg
Airspeed indicator in a Huey-592 viewsThis is the airspeed in a Huey. We're doing 110knots. Notice the VIBRATION! That's why the photo is so blury. The thing vibrated horrendously. Absolutely flying junk. Beats me how they can last more than an hour in operation. Yet they do! They're work horses on these islands. I'm guessing the maintenance folks must be real busy.
Shore 2.jpg
Stunning Sky. I saw a thousand skies in only a few days.-571 viewsThe skys in Kwaj are amazing. I shall not forget them.
Chopper 5.jpg
Chopper leaving me on a lonely island.-575 viewsLoneliest I've ever been was when the chopper left myself and couple other guys at the helipad of an outer island. I had no idea what lonely really meant before this. Even though I knew the chopper was coming back!
Chopper 6.jpg
Chopper Returns-641 viewsLuckily the chopper stuck to it's schedule and returned. Strange feeling. I still don't have a clue how those Hueys can keep flying. Looks like a maintanence NIGHTMARE. Never seen a machine SHAKE so fricken much! Flying junk; yet I loved that bird when it emerged on the horizon.
Illeginni Helipad 1.jpg
Helipad on Illeginni island.-803 viewsThis is the helipad on what looked a lot like Gilligan's (sp?) island. But the romance was nothing compared to the distant lonelyness.
Jap Bunker.jpg
WWII Japanese Bunker-1022 viewsA WWII Japanese bunker. A lot of history happened here with a legacy of many dead US and Jap soldiers. A sobering reminder of something my life hasn't had to experience. My level of comfort was paid for with blood. I needed the reminder. Don't we all.
Sunset 4.jpg
Sunsets on personal watercraft at Kwaj.-860 viewsThe sun sets upon some personal water craft. Golden! But I confess the yellow hue, although cool, is not from me. It was the darned condensation on the lens. I'd wipe it off, take a picture and then have to wipe it again. Here I timed it right and just enough was on the lens to look cool. I only hope the salt in that moisture didn't hurt the camera. Gad, it was thick! I wanted a shower after just a few seconds.
Kwaj Lodge.jpg
The dorm for temp folks.-1381 viewsTaken from the huey; this is the dorm for temp workers on the big island. The flags on the left have a tough life. They get whipped to death in the almost constant wind. Note how NARROW the island is. It's hard to remember that there is an entire world beyond the horizon. Actually, while this is the dorm, it's not where I stayed. I bunked in a somewhat commercial type bldg just beyond the upper right corner of the photo. Apparently they were a bit booked up here. Amazing as that sounds.
Legan 1.jpg
Top secret telescopes.-1405 viewsSuper, double secret, high tech telescopes on Gagan (I think), an outer island. Kwaj has some of the best telescopes in the world but I really have no idea if these are them. Photoed from the Huey; did I mention how much that thing VIBRATED!
Outer Island 3.jpg
A typical outer island.-1171 viewsThis is a typical outer island. There are hundreds of islands nearly the same as this one.
The big island of the Kwajalein atoll-1843 viewsThis is the big island of the Kwajalein atoll. The run way extends from shore to shore. They can land a 737 on it, saw that first hand. But, I don't know about the bigger birds. No other island is even close to big enough to land a commercial jet! I don't know how the pilots can navigate to something so small in middle of the ocean. Wow! My client (along with ~1200 others) lives here. Best client I've ever had the privilege of working for! A real good guy. Course living in paradise may play a role in that.
An old antenna for who knows what type of radio signals. Don't know how old or what frequencies...-1207 views
Beach 1.jpg
One of the main swimming beaches on island of Kwaj.-1275 views
Beach 2.jpg
Mom trying to lead her child into the water.-1257 views
Chopper 1.jpg
Chopper ready to leave Illeginni island.-1099 views
Chopper 4.jpg
Chopper rolling away from the wind. Caught my attention.-1047 views
Cloud 1.jpg
The Kwaj skies could fill a book.-1020 views
One of the highest points on Kwaj (~8ft!). Perfect for the symbol of what Christ did for us. Stunning!-1012 views
Fire Supression Station.jpg
Fire station on Illeginni. Not a lot of fire fighting power needed I guess.-1073 views
GBRP 2.jpg
The GBRP telescope. The dome is held up with AIR pressure. Didn't get to go inside unfortunately.-994 viewsHad a cool airlock to enter through. Looked neat from the door. Maybe some day.
Private boats in the lagoon. Boating is pretty big on Kwaj, duh!-1002 views
Hermet Crab 2.jpg
Hermit crab desperately trying to leap off my hand.-994 views
Illeginni Abandoned 1.jpg
WWII bunker now used for ?? (if anything).-1092 views
Illeginni Control Room 1.jpg
Illeginni kitchen, switchgear and sleeping room! Guy getting in the fridge is the lone operator. Not exactly spacious.-1192 views
Illeginni Gear 1.jpg
Primary switchgear on Illeginni. The note says "Don't F#*@$#@ turn this on!" Diablo Canyon it ain't.-1083 views
Illeginni Generators.jpg
Illeginni generators. Tiny little guys at ~150KW.-1067 viewsThey have a rough life. Ambient temps 80-90 deg. with HIGH humidity all the time.
Illeginni Power Plant 1.jpg
Illeginni generator building. WWII construction I assume of course.-1149 views
Illeginni Rust.jpg
Rust is a big problem everywhere on Kwaj. And, getting blown off the island.-1093 viewsConcrete is the best at withstanding the island conditions. Rumor has it that metal buildings have colapsed in just 1 year. Something about salt, water and galvanic reactions upon the rivots. Gravity eventually wins.
Indiginous Personel 1.jpg
A resident demonstrating the "Kwaj" bars. Don't know how they got popular but they are comfortable to ride.-1326 viewsBikes are essentially it on the island. No car dealers ya know. The everpresent rust is a rampant epidemic on all bikes. Bikes go from new, to average, to old in about 14 minutes plus or minus. Epidemic! Nearly no bikes have multiple gears. No hills... no need.
Kwaj #2.jpg
Another gorgeous Kwaj sky.-1046 views
Kwaj #4.jpg
They say the diving is world class. Again, major DUH!-1303 viewsResident divers are amazingly low key about the multitude of SHARKS in the area. Makes my skin crawl!
Kwaj from Air 1.jpg
Industrial area of Kwaj. Photos taken in the air are always better! (even with the lens cap on)-1219 viewsAmazing that thousands of tons of bombs were dropped on this little island. Sad that 400 marines died here. Even more sad that 6000 Jap soldiers died as well.
Kwaj from Air 3.jpg
Kwaj primary harbor. Photos taken in the air are always better!-1206 views
Kwaj Power Plant 1.jpg
Kwaj power plant. Island's max load ~12MW primarily air conditioning!-1224 views
Legan 2.jpg
More super secret telescopes on an outer island.-1272 views
Outer Island 6.jpg
A particularly cute outer island.-1056 views
Pools 1.jpg
Pools cut into the coral at low tide. Great sky (of course) in the background.-1057 views
Research Ship.jpg
A research vessel doing who knows what.-1127 views
Shore 1.jpg
Light surf breaking in the evening.-1089 views
Stump in Surf.jpg
A lonely stump in the surf. I just like this shot. Don't know why, I just do.-1095 views
Sunset 1~0.jpg
One of the many great sunsets.-1022 views
Sunset 2.jpg
Sunsets on the swimming area.-1033 views
Surf and Cloud.jpg
Wave breaks under the weight of a huge cloud.-1071 views
Transport ship.jpg
Kwaj version of a bus. Hauls Marshaleze (sp?) folks to the island they work on.-1118 views
Wind on Helepad 1.jpg
Wind holding the wind indicator straight out on Illeginni island!-1034 viewsTrade winds are a constant friend for many months of the year. Obviously, Kwaj pilots don't sweat the wind.
Wind on Trees 2.jpg
A picnic area under medium winds (note the trees).-1102 views
Wind on Trees.jpg
The wind beating the stuffing out of some trees.-1072 views
52 pictures on 2 page(s) 1