Leaving their beloved but radioactive atoll behind, 140 Bikini islanders sailed across Kili Island's treacherous reef over the weekend for a fresh start in their disrupted lives.

They arrived with a new baby, born at sea during the 500-mile journey aboard the transport ship SS Micro-Pilot.

Joyful reunions took place on the beach with families who had been relocated earlier because of the nuclear tests that polluted their South Pacific trust territory. Also waiting on the shoreline were 28 new plywood and tin-roofed homes specially built for the relocation, with plastic-lined "frying pans" above ground to catch rain water.

The United States first forced the islanders from their tropical garden of Eden 2,500 miles southwest of Hawaii in 1946 so it could blast the atoll with atomic bomb tests. Now the Bikinians must again move away because scientists have found that deadly radiation remains.

"I think this is real sad, so sad about our homeland," said a Bikinian. But he added, "I think this time I don't want to go back to Bikini because too danger for me."

Kili women in brightly colored dresses huddled to talk in loud voices. An interpreter reported:

"Leave them to Bikini they say. They cannot understand why people leave Bikini. They build new houses. They wonder why they too don't have new houses."