We created the "Lost Shoals" story line to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the sea turtle tagging programme at East Island, French Frigate Shoals (FFS).
We posted the first cartoon, "Lost Shoals", on April 18th, 1998, with the goal that we would conclude the series on May 31st, 1999, when the 25th Anniversary was officially over.
We now realize it might take til December to conclude this series--perhaps even longer. We're not in a hurry because we are having such fun with the plot and characters.
Readers might be interested in knowing that the model DC3 in the comic strip has a real life counterpart. N36, a white, black, red and silver 'gooney-bird' really did make weekly flights into the French Frigate Shoals.
This was the airplane that carried George Balazs to these remote islands back in 1973 when he began monitoring and tagging Hawaiian green sea turtles (honu) there.
There really is an East Island, and the majority of honu nest there--and yes, there's also a telephone pole!
No, there aren't 3,000,000 Sooty Terns but in 1973 (the year we are honouring) estimates of the population of Sooty Terns at East Island vary from 30,000 upwards to 70,000!
George Balazs, who has spent more time on East Island than anyone else, confessed he's had more than his share of "screech" from these raucous birds. Because of this cartoon series, we too have a confession to make.
Sooty Terns make us smile.
Most rewarding was getting to know Ted, the tall lanky researcher who's Garland's colleague and best friend. Up to this cartoon series Ted existed only as a support/sounding board for Garland.
Now Ted has "introduced" himself to us and is his own special person.
This week's comic strip (June 5, 1999), like the one exactly a year ago (Shoal Brothers), extends to five panels as our way of honouring the week of June 1st.
We'd like to thank George Balazs for the help he's giving us with ideas for this comic strip (most of the time he didn't know he did!). For fun. For the record, we offer here some of George's photos and then the cartoons they inspired.
There is a season (TERN TERN TERN)
And a time to every purpose under heaven.
This Week's Toon
French Frigate Shoals--25th Anniversary
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