This man, Fredrik Fransson, of Australia and his crew were sailing around in the South Pacific in August of 2006 near the small, island archipilego country of Tonga, when he and his boat crew were lucky enough to watch the birth of an island apparently!
He says, “There was no wind so we slowly motored off the island of Tonga and almost immediately we noticed sort of grainy streaks in the water. Fairly soon it became thicker and thicker…and at one point we just looked up and the whole horizon was a band that looked like desert…the closer we came it was like rolling hills of sand…we entered this desert like condition because when we first encountered it was just thin layer on the surface it became very thick, piling up on the bow, so our speed went from 7 knots to 1 knot.”
Nasa says, “The pumice resulted from an underwater eruption of the marine volcano Home Reef. Although the pumice eventually floated away, the new volcanic island could still be seen by satellites in the fall of 2006.”
Fredrik continued, “But then on the horizon through the clouds we see this smokestack from the actual, active volcano. Of course you’re curious so we decided that we could sail right toward the active volcano. This is where pumice and actually volcano every 40 minutes spewed out this massive black tower of matter. You could see raining down, it just became a solid tower of blackness very high up.”
As he got closer to the underwater volcano Fredrik said that the saltwater became warmer to the touch. He remembered thinking that he and his crew of 2 were among the first to see this new island forming. The pictures have since showed up at NASA on satellite photos (bottom).
It got quite thick as they moved through it!
“It was kind of a beautiful island, it looks like a big island make out of black coal, that was just smoldering and I would say we were about 10-15 miles from it when the last of the big black eruptions took place but looking back it was amazing, it’s not that many people who can be there actually seeing it first hand and being the first ones.”
They watched as the smoke cleared and there arose a new island above the surface of the water…
After watching it for quite a while the crew set sail and went on to Brisbane, Australia where Fredrik is building a new home (and detailing that on another of his blogs).
All the photos of the island are from his blog. I hope he posts some higher definition photos but maybe he’s saving those for himself – to make into posters? I think I would. His blog is amazingly popular and he has over 300 comments posted on this one article from people all over the world that saw of his discovery on CNN.
What an awesome event… I thought getting struck by lightening was an odd event. How many people actually see a new island form?
One out of a billion I guess. I’ve thought a little about the subject in the past as many of us have… dreamed of discovering a new island that we could name after our self! I thought all the islands had been found already, in my experience it just wasn’t something I thought about – that new islands are being formed all the time.
It’s one thing to be standing on the big island of Hawaii and watching lava run down into the water and watching an island grow larger by the minute as horizontal land mass is accumulated. It’s another level entirely to be on a boat in the middle of the wide expanse of the Pacific Ocean and seeing smoke come out of the water and then rock being built up before your eyes. Amazing, amazing fun that must have been.
Awesome experience Fredrik, thanks to you and your crew for sharing it with us!
Best of Life!