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P-MAN XVII Progress Report #4 - Relax - Flip is on the way

20 March 2015

The mission started on 13 March with the following folks arriving in Palau:

Seasoned Alumni:

Pat Scannon
Dan O'brien
Jennifer Powers-Krazny

Newbies:

Blake Boteler
Mickaila Johnston

They got to do all the admin work necessary to get up and running in country. Once the folks from Scripps Institution of Oceanography (known sometimes as SIO, Scripps, or those 'really smart west coast ocean guys') and University of Delaware (known as UDEL, UD, or 'those really smart east coast ocean guys') showed up they got going in earnest on the water.

Val Thal Slocum arrived a day or two ago and Derek Abbey is/was expecting to arrive today.

I'm en route. There were no seats available on my company (I fly for Delta) out of Detroit to Tokyo, and although there were seats out of JFK airport today to Tokyo, a snowstorm was going to hit the northeast so I thought better and headed out west to see how I could get to Palau. I got to Portland, Oregon last night and am traveling to Tokyo and on to Palau today. I get in at 0100 on the 22nd. One thing about going via Hawaii instead of Japan, you do get in at a reasonable hour even if leaving is just as painful at 0420 and 0220 respectively for Tokyo or Guam.

Warren Bruce will be joining up at the end of March. So will a group of three San Diego State University students that Derek is leading on a research project. I'll let him tell you all the details about that as time goes on. Stockbridge High School is coming out again with a new remotely operated underwater vehicle and new plans to be more successful in the field. They are even doing a manta-ray tracking project in conjunction with some Palauan groups. They are doing outreach into the Palau school system and teaching how to build ROVs to as many students as they can. For anyone who uses Facebook (I am a Facebook dropout) check out Stockbridge High School Underwater Robotics.

I'm sure I'm leaving someone out but I'll do another update once I'm in country.

But no update is complete without photos. So here are a few from last year.


What Casey could see last year while hanging upside-down
over a cliff, suspended by sticky vines.
That's the island of Ngerchaol across the channel from Arakabesan..


Sunset in Palau


Divers on a really clear day over the Hellcat.  
This was the only day we could see the entire debris field from above.


Hellcat tailwheel


A model of the Norm that we found in 2013
that showed what teamwork can do between SIO, UDEL and BentProp


Our awesome guide/friend/trusted team member Joe Maldangesang,
who looks younger every year, while the rest of us...well...
(phoro © Val Slocum 2015)

So that's the news so far. More later as it happens. I hope everyone has a great turn into spring.

- Flip Colmer

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