Roger Lextrait

Photo Collection: Roger Lextrait

By the early 1990's, it had become easier than ever to traverse the Pacific in pleasure craft, and sailors around the world were taking advantage of new technologies to reach even the most remote of locations, like Palmyra. The Fullard-Leo's worried more and more about activites on Palmyra they had no way to prevent, so in an effort to curb things like growing marijauna, personal injury, and poaching, they hired a friend to live on the islands full time and be the caretaker. In his own words, Roger Lextrait described his relationship to Palmyra this way:


When I first arrived on Palmyra, I began my dream and when I left Palmyra, the dream ended. Time was of no importance there. The island itself began to feel like an extension of my own body. Being in total harmony with my surroundings, I saw a side of life many people never have the chance to see. I experienced total and complete freedom. Of course, I also experienced many lows. Through bouts of loneliness and depression, I stayed the course of contentment with my environment. Each morning I woke feeling great, strong, and beautiful. As I watched the sun rise over the atoll’s jungle, a natural high would wash over me, taking away my bothers, fears, and worry.

Roger lived as an adventurer, plain and simple. He thought of himself as a modern day Robinson Crusoe, so after sailing throughout the Pacific for 15 years, he accepted the offer to manage Palmyra in 1992. He spent his time cleaning up the islands (the bath and water system he built is still in use today), keeping the visiting yachties in line, and caring for the wildlife, even adopting an injured baby boobie as his own. He would be the last resident before the atoll's sale to the Nature Conservancy in 2000, and its longest, almost as a kind of tribute to the magic and longevity of the islands.

Roger Lextrait