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Palmerston – an island at the end of the earth

The tiny Pacific island of Palmerston is one of the most isolated island communities in the world, visited by a supply ship twice a year – at most. The only other way to reach Palmerston Island is by sailboat. Sailing vessel Wyntersea, and crew, were there in 2007.

It is an island paradise that is populated buy 62 inhabitants, all descended from one man – an Englishman, William Marsters, who settled there 150 years ago. The Marsters’ family’s generosity, the island’s etiquette, legal system and traditions have all been passed down through the generations by word of mouth. The legacy of one man born in the English county of Leicestershire, 10,000 miles away.

There is an established rhythm to life on the island:

  1. footpaths are groomed regularily
  2. school is attended on a scheduled basis with a fulltime teacher on site
  3. on Sundays, the bell rings to summon this Christian community to service at 10:00
  4. after church it is time to eat
  5. power is turned on for a couple of hours each day
  6. there is a short period of time for internet access and
  7. a very few are able to access a mobile phone signal
  8. rules, instituited by William Marsters, prohibits marriage within the family
  9. dogs are banned fromt eh island

There are no shops, two toilets, and rainwater is collected for drinking. Bartering and helping one’s neighbour is the way of life. Money has no value on the island and is only used to buy supplies from the outside world – if an when the ship comes by. When supplies get low they survive on coconuts and fish.

Visit Wyntersea Productions for other travel documentaries: Marsters’ Palmerston – Cook Islands

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