2009 BentProp Progress Report # 07

P-MAN XI Update #07 - Title
21 February 2009

A milestone has passed in the BentProp saga. In today's progress report, Flip has confessed to - some might even say bragged about - doing "an adult thing."

From Flip:

I have a confession. But please don't tell anyone. I did an adult thing today. Instead of going diving and putting off work for the project, I elected not to get wet and did all of the things I said I would put off. I realized if I did not seek out all the permissions for permits for our work, if I did not get the Internet hooked up, if I did not track down someone from the ship in the flyer photo, all of this would be put off for another day which means until next week since the weekend is upon us.

So Paul went out and finished his certification at German Channel. Warren and Molly went out to Blue Hole and New Drop Off. They all were beaming when I got back to the hotel. I think they're hooked. I know I'm hooked but as I said, I did a mature thing today.

I started the day with Joe making phone calls to various government offices for me. Paving the way so to speak. Then I went back to the hotel and made some more phone calls. In no particular order, I wanted to visit with the U.S. Embassy, President's Office, Airai State Office, Ngatpang State Office, Koror State Office, Palau National Communications Office, Palau National Aviation Administration Office, CAT Team Compound (Civic Action Team, U.S. Air Force currently), buy gas, send an update, stop at Conservation Office, connect to the Internet somewhere and finally contact someone on the Navy ship in the harbor.

I managed to visit every office except the conservation group. Every permit we need is started. I drove from the harbor to the capitol and back. Managed to update my Palauan pilot's license, have a bowl of udong, personally clog up the Internet pipe to a crawl and meet a lot of helpful and nice Palauan Government employees. We'll finish up the permit process tomorrow and Monday, we should have some Internet service in the room by the same timeframe and we might be conducting some get togethers with some Navy DIvers.

As you know, things happen around the BentProp Project that are just too coincidental to be a coincidence. There is a Navy salvage vessel in the harbor. I heard they're here for training and they pulled up an old and very heavy anchor. We can see them work from the windows of our hotel rooms. The ship and team are here for a bit longer. Now what are the odds that I would know anyone on this particular ship? If you've followed our story, you know the answer is 100%. As it turns out, almost all of the Navy Divers on board have worked on the B24 recovery operation and the Chief Warrant Officer in charge is a good friend of The BentProp Project. We'll have lots to talk about. What were the chances of this vessel with this crew being in Palau at that exact time we are? And what are the chances that we'll run into them tonight?

We're heading to the airport to pick up Pat, Mark, Katie and Wil.


Rick will come in tomorrow night. Tomorrow we'll do more meet and greets starting with breakfast at 0730 and our first interview at 0900. We'll work on the permits, and get people acclimated a bit to this time zone. Personally, I'm in time zone hell. I woke up at 0215 this morning and have been going ever since. I did find out that my great iPhone burns up airtime at $5.00 per minute for all calls local and long distance. And texting is expensive too. So, that's been turned off. I think we'll have a local Palauan phone shortly, courtesy of Jolie. Our first interview will be tomorrow with Vince, the historian from Airai. He showed us some parts last year and he knows where there are a couple of airplanes in the water and on a small rock island. Now it gets interesting. I hope all is well with you. More later as it develops.

PS It got more interesting. Molly and Warren took one of the vans to get some Red Rooster beer as a welcome to our arrivals. They couldn't find any. So, just to create a new tradition, we went back to Kraemers just to have one Red Rooster for the new arrivals. So who was there? A bunch of the Navy Divers including their master diver. And more, Wil Hylton knows all of them from his writing work on the B24. It was old home week for most, and let's meet you for the rest. We have an invitation to the ship for a tour and looks like we'll take advantage of that in a day or so. If we had brought Red Rooster to the airport, we might not have met up with the divers quite so fast. The story just gets better and better.

Turns out Rick didn't make in as scheduled. More on that in the next report...

- Reid

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