to see a special aerial view of the far North point side of Fanning Island watch the following production by Cameron Petersen:

click here


The April arrival of the MS Westerdam to Hawaii before it sailed to Fanning Island was a true blessing to so many people, including Rich Smith the director of Pacific CARE Missions.


The purposes of helping the many passengers of the Holland America ships that would be sailing to Fanning and hopefully be delivering and donating school, medical and personal items to the residents of Fanning, happened in many ways.

While the ship was in Hilo, a small group of 5 passengers,  pre arranged a tour of the volcano with Rich in the hope to know more about Fanning Island.P1080759P1080752

They heard so much from the driver (Rich), who also passed around many photo albums of Fanning Island that Rich had taken since 2003. There was even an opportunity to play a DVD info video about Fanning in the rented Van  while traveling  on the highway back to the ship. This opportunity to help these passengers could have many benefits as they would be helping to get the word out to others on the ship. The funds for the “volcano tour with Rich” would be used to support the efforts and materials for Fanning Island. As with any mission, food is key and there was a great snack break at the turnaround point of volcano national park.


They also so wanted to do a run to Wal Mart to buy some last minute supplies to donate to Fanning when they visit there (hopefully). It was determined later that the ship did not get to call on Fanning due to weather and large swells.

The next day, Rich of PCM set up an information table on the Kona Pier and there were so many opportunities to meet with the ship passengers during their visit to Kona before sailing away to Fanning in the evening.


Even the ship lecturers were able to share their info and get some news from Rich, especially that there is now the possibility that an aircraft will be flying to Fanning from Christmas Island on a charter type basis.


It was also learned that the ship provided information and collection receptacles for the passengers donations.


Let’s hope it is not what it looks like!

New updates below from the passengers, are after the ship left Hawaii:

Update #1: news from a passenger 4/13/16

Rich, Hi, just to advise that we arrived off Fanning Island this morning. The weather unfortunately was not good, heavy rain squalls scheduled for the whole of the day and the swell not good either.  As we approached the atoll you could see all, the next minute nothing. The skipper decided on erring on the side of caution and sailed on. I can imagine the disappointment from the Fanning population as they must have been gearing up for this for ages. A disappointment from our perspective as well.

Update #2: news from a passenger 4/14/16
Hi again, hope you are well. At sea now for 4 days, 2 to go before we reach Roratonga in the Cook Islands. My understanding is that the donations meant for Fanning Island will now be handed to the Red Cross for distribution there. So although they would have been a good cause for Fanning, some good will come of it being handed to the Red Cross, rather than lost in the melee in San Diego.
Take care, keep up the good work and hope our paths will cross one day.
Update #3: news from a passenger 4/14/16
Just to let you know we missed Fanning Island due to bad weather!!!!!  We also missed Rarotonga today but the ship was able to offload all the donations for Fanning to the Red Cross who said they’d endeavor to get some of it over to Fanning. 

We were not able to safely tender in to Rarotonga this morning, but a tender took in the donated supplies to the Red Cross people in Rarotonga.  We also had to offload passenger with a medical emergency, but other than those two tenders, no one was allowed off the ship.

The Captain advised us that the Red Cross told him that some of our donated supplies would be used in and around the islands of Rarotonga to those in need, and that they would “endeavor to get some of the supplies we donated to Fanning Island.”
That’s all I know.  But I can confirm that all of our donated supplies left our ship on a tender in to Rarotonga this morning.
Everyone was extremely disappointed that we couldn’t get to Fanning Island.  Lots of sad faces that day.



the following is a testimony from a passenger who had a desire to let us know about her recent visit to Fanning on this cruise. PCM tries to keep the passengers informed about visiting and helping the island on this sailing, and future ones, thru the information shared on this website. Please let me know if you have experiences to share as well. RICH SMITH/PCM Director

Dear Mr. Rich Smith,

It was amazing!  

Yes Sir, we made it onto Fanning.  We almost didn’t, the oceans were rough, we arrived late, the ‘port authority’ was delayed in authorizing us to disembark (likely couldn’t find or wake one) and 2 out of 4 tenders broke down.  My husband and I were at the far back of the long and eager line of all those wanting to go and when I had conceded that I wasn’t going to make it onto the island…miracle of miracles, we were on the next tender over and spent several hours taking in all the amazing experiences and passing out our supply gifts.  The Captain delayed our departure as long as able, it turned out to be a Sunday on the island (though it was Saturday on the ship?).  With school being out that day, I started calling out for a teacher soon as we stepped off the hastily repaired dock.  I found and delivered my school supply packages to the teacher (praying he really was a teacher), then set out to explore.  We passed out things to the church groups singing, some mothers with babes on their hips and lots of the young children that were curiously checking us out.  All were very gracious, one mother that I gave some sewing tools to called her daughter over to show me the dress she had made for her on her sewing machine.  God is good!  Then we asked for the clinic/doctor/nurse/etc. and 3 small children nodded, so we followed.  When our guides trail began to go deeper into jungle-like territory we turned back.  But, our guides persisted and asked ‘doctor?’, pointing farther down the muddy paths through the trees.  So, we prayed and followed and prayed and ‘ta-da’, the Clinic appeared.  Once the nurse was located, we shared our supplies, she was very thankful and told us (in fairly good English) how she helped the ‘momma’s to take care of their babies and their sores’.  As we left another couple approached.  We thanked our little tour guides, tipped them generously and returned to the gathering area.  We swam, sweat, shopped their goods, listened to their songs, drank from their coconuts and took thousands of photos.  What an amazing experience, so hard to even put into words.  As we lined up to return to the ship I saw the fella holding tightly the school supply packages while sitting among the singers on the dock, he hadn’t moved or let go, so I prayed again they got where they were going.  At least he seemed to accept that his package had some purpose.  
As for the ship:  at our stops in the Hawaiian Islands, people were heard at Wal-Mart gathering items for Fanning as they were just now hearing what that port was about.  Kainoa, the ship’s port guide (who was very informative actually, and a native Polynesian/Hawaiian) added to the info you shared with me.  One thing he mentioned was that the islanders told him it often takes a while for the supplies left to be distributed, so the schools and residents welcomed visitors to walk right up and visit, join classes, spend time with them, etc.  Their was a table set up on board the ship for folks to drop off donations and many were accumulating.  Then, on Fanning, next to the post office (the lean-to shade covered table) just on shore from the dock, the ship folk had off loaded about a pallet size stack of well taped packaged liquor boxes full of ‘who knows what’ (perhaps you have an idea), that appeared to be for the islanders.  That is all I know about what the ship did.  Though I asked around, no one seemed to know of any ‘organized’ mission regarding Fanning Island.  Though, perhaps for the best.  It made it real, spontaneous, heartfelt, and sincere, one person to another.    
Then, after we set sail, back on board, the Captain made a special public announcement.  He said that he received a letter from the school on Fanning Island, that he has never before received a letter from them, but that they said they are very thankful for the supplies they received today, and thankful for our visit to their Island today.  I took that as God confirming that everything was delivered to the appropriate place, that needs were addressed, that God was glorified, that worship to our Creator happened even though we all missed the church service that day.  
Thank you for sharing in our joy, kicking it up a notch by sharing your insights.  I hope to return some day, but if I don’t I have new places and people to pray for.  And, I have told the cruise line, in several manners, what a tremendous experience Fanning Island was for us, and to please refrain from altering it, ie. trying to make it a ‘tourist trap’, that it is a precious gem just the way it is.   
I hope that answers you questions at the least, and lets you know how fine a day it was, at the most.  I will say that I do not mind if you share any of this information to future inquirers.  Thanks again for enlightening our paths.  
God bless you

Feb 2015 Statendam sailing

Statendam Feb. 19th 2015 Dick and Charlene DeRosear and Mary and Jack (ole goat) Fried were two sets of passengers who wanted to go on a private tour of the volcano with Rich Smith director of PCM offering to accommodate them.  P1000706 They met shortly after arrival to Hilo pier. One requirement though was they were to talk extensively about Fanning Island and Rich would answer their questions. As is the usual case at end of tour, Rich needed help with getting some of his donated supplies onto the ship and given to a general collection bin that was supposedly made available to the passengers after a daily notice was placed in the passengers daily newsletter. Between 4:30-5:30pm, the ship and security officials allowed Rich to have an area near the ID check inside the pier building. A handful of passengers did see Rich’s HELP FANNING ISLAND poster and met with him to ask questions, tell of their bringing supplies and even offered to take supplies onboard. Many had said they had viewed the PCM website and got much information about what to do on Fanning and how to help by getting more items at various stores on Oahu and Maui before leaving Hawaii to sail to Fanning. Some of the supplies donated by PCM included 100 Children’s Highlight magazines (sponsored by good friend Nancy Goforth)boxed-Highlights2opt100_9824

and delivered to ship by Dick DeRosearP1000722

Over 1,000 packages of sutures, 50 bottles of Lidocaine and other wound care items were also taken on board by Jack Fried seen here carrying onboard 100 Gideons Life Books (book of John) to be used in the secondary school.


A box of baseball gloves were donated by a 12 yr. old boy named Evan “Step Up to The Plate” ministry in the mainland USA, along with the help of Wayne Smith who personally donated the items to a class at the NCL school pictured here P1000723Fanning class(closing note from RICH: please notice the benches of desks/lack of….) anyone interested in helping get usable classroom desks to these kids????

This is what Wayne wrote to Evan: ” Good morning Evan, My wife and I just returned last night from sailing on the Holland America Statendam to Hawaii and French Polynesia. While we were in Hilo, Hi. I met Rich Smith with Pacific Care Missions and he asked if I would deliver your box of baseball equipment to the children of Fanning Island. I am pleased to tell you that the box you mailed him last April was finally personally delivered to Fanning on February 26th !!!! I met with one of the middle school teachers and his class and told them about your ministry and left the equipment with them. The teacher said he would distribute the larger gloves to the correct age group. I have a photo of the class and will forward it to you soon. My God continue to lead you and bless you in your ministry. Sincerely,Wayne & Sue Lewis, Rock Hill,SC


2014 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

 This blog was viewed about 2,900 times in 2014.

Click here to see the complete report.

Current Fanning Island MEDICAL CLINIC conditions

The first week of June 2014, PCM was blessed to have received video footage of the current Medical Clinic on Fanning Island that PCM has helped over the years and was built by the local council using supplies donated by many special friends of PCM.

One special group of 3 guys, captain Bill Bourdon, Jay Sennewald and MikeMckenna

Pic_0415_117  Pic_0416_125 sailed down on the Alisha June and stayed on the island for about one month. Jay filmed the clinic and did some interviews with the head nurse and a local resident named Ben Oten. When you view the footage here  you will see and understand about the condition and needs the clinic currently has.

It is our hope at PCM, that you may be inspired to help us obtain and deliver a much needed solar/battery storage systems, electrical and lighting materials that can greatly improve the clinic and it’s use, especially when needed during the nighttime emergencies and care. To view a video info/com about this great system and the current funding program needing your help please click here. As Director of Pacific C.A.R.E. Missions, I truly feel this is a much needed and life saving piece of equipment and power system that the medical clinic must get. We really need your help to fund and get this system to the island. It’s hard to believe that this clinic must be in use at night and not have any effective lighting during medical emergencies and the many births they have on the island. Your generous funding would help get the power system there and in use at the most needed of times.

Currently, some primer and white paint is being sent by the SV KWAI to preserve the existing raw wood doors and paneling and to brighten the inside of the rooms.

Before the crew of guys left Kona Hawaii, they were also willing to take over 350 Highlight Children’s magazines and 200 Gideon Life Books to be donated to the island council so they could be used in the local schools.

Pic_0415_119 Pic_0415_120

It is the Compassionate hearts of people like them that allow people on Fanning to have fulfilled and longer lives. Thanks so much Men! 






March 11, 2011 Fanning Island Tsunami Effects

John & Joan Hanson, on March 13, 2011 at 1:56 pm said:
My wife and I had an opportunity to visit Fanning Island aboard the MS Rotterdam cruise (11/22-12/22). With all of the recent news coming out of Japan and what we learned about Fanning Island does anyone have any news of the people regarding their situation following the tsunami?

To all concerned, this is an email from a resident on Fanning about what happened during the March 11 2011 Tsunami:

The tsunami hit Fanning in the early hours of Sunday(our time) we were expecting something at about 4.00 am from reports we gathered from a sailing vessel that was in port at the time. The crew of this vessel notified the police chief at about midnight Saturday 12 March. The police then contacted Bruno De la la for more confirmation of this report, that is when Bruno informed me at 1.00 am to confirm this. We checked our sailmail and found that there was a warning from Rich Smith in Hawaii informing us of the tsunami and that it would hit Hawaii at around 2.59 am. Bruno then offered to accommodate my family in his house as he has 2 double story building’s and probably these are the highest you can get here,unless you climb up the breadfruit tree’s or coconut tree’s in the rain and wind which was also blowing at around 20 to 30 knot’s that night. My family decided to take Bruno’s offer of shelter at 3.00 am, I stayed at home to secure whatever need to be, just in case something did happen. At around 4.00 pm I went to the ocean side of the island of Weston point to see if there was any change in the sea level it was quite hard to tell as the tide was low at the time. At 5.00 am I decided that by now the tsunami had passed and we returned home. My vhf radio was on channel 16 and 72 for any further updates from the sailing vessel in port, which had also moved out of the lagoon upon receiving the tsunami warning. In port also was a local freighter that remained at anchor in the lagoon during this period. At around 6.00 am I could hear chatter on channel 16 from this local freighter I could not understand what they were saying as it was in chinese but they did seem panicky at the time.(chinese officers) That is when the tsunami had reached Fanning. The water in the lagoon was being sucked out of the channel at great speed causing the freighter to touch bottom at it’s anchorage and to list on one side. This happened several times during the early morning of Sunday. Also during this surge the seaweed farm’s from Torea Torea point to Putatu point suffered considerable damage, this area had mile’s and mile’s of seaweed patches which were washed out into the lagoon and probably out the channel. Now there is nothing there but clear patches of sand where before it was just seaweed cultivations. That morning people were saving as much seaweed as they could and were on the beach hauling seaweed ashore then all of a sudden the water would be gone this caused the people to move further out to collect then suddenly the water would start rushing back and these people would drop what they were doing and start running back to the beach. This happened for most of the Sunday morning. The rainy season we have now is not helping in the drying of this seaweed which could cost thousand’s of dollars for the farmers. No lives were lost or hurt during this period,this is first time that we have felt the wave’s damage and force compared to other tsunami warning in the past. Tekeraoi,Tyrone