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Pitcairn Islands Study Center

Oeno Island

A low atoll situated seventy-six miles north-west-by-north of Pitcairn at 23 degrees 56 minutes South, 130 degrees 44 minutes West. It is squarish in shape and a little over two miles wide. The reef varies in width from 200 to 600 yards. the main island is shaped like a figure eight and is about three quarters of a mile long north to south. It is covered by brush and small trees. The lagoon is shallow with many coral heads and filled with many varieties of fish (Wahlroos, Mutiny and Romance in the South Seas, 1989). 

Although Oeno was first discovered by Captain Henderson of the ship Hercules, it takes its name from Aaron Mitchell and Company’s American whaler Oeno, 328 tons, Captain George B. Worth, whose crew sighted the island on January 26, 1824. Several ships have been wrecked on Oeno’s reef, perhaps the most notable being the American clipper Wild Wave, Captain Josiah N. Knowles, which while in ballast from San Francisco was wrecked on the Oeno reef on March 15, 1857 (Ford, Pitcairn: Port of Call, 1996).

According to the Guide to Pitcairn,

Oeno is a beautiful island, untouched and surrounded by white sandy beaches. The island is home to a number of birds such as the Murphy’s Petrel, Sooty Tern, Brown Noddy and other species. With the successful removal of the island’s rats in 1997, these birds now have a higher chance of survival and will hopefully flourish. Oeno is also a retreat for the Pitcairners, who usually make a trip during the summer to enjoy the beaches that Pitcairn does not have.

Other islands of the Pitcairn Group: Pitcairn, Ducie, Henderson.

Contact Study Center:

PHONE: 707-965-6244
TEXT:   707-229-1340

Contact Herb Ford:
PHONE: 559-592-0980 or

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  [California Study Center]