Named after whaling ship Oeno, Oeno Island is a small (0.5 square kilometer) islet part of the coral atoll by the same name and the westernmost of the Pitcairn Islands. This beautiful island is low-lying and rarely visited, with the exception of nearby Pitcairners formerly arriving on their annual holidays. The little island is surrounded by white sandy beaches inside a stunning blue lagoon studded with vegetation. A sand bar, which is constantly undergoing change, is currently unattached to the island. Oeno has been designated as an Important Bird Area by Birdlife International, as it is home to a number of seabirds such as Murphy's Petrels (with one of the largest colonies of this bird in the world), Sooty Terns and Brown Noddies. The island is as storied as it is tiny, with a history of at least four separate shipwrecks and the eradication of Polynesian rats some twenty years ago (the eradication of the rats allowed for the birds to have a higher chance of survival). Access to the island is quite limited, as the currents close to the channel leading to the island can be quite strong and one has to carefully navigate around the many coral heads.