P-MAN XI Update #09
- Flip catches up. Bandwidth wars. Power blips
Today got to a start on time. But first, a public service announcement. Paul says hi to his wife. The Internet out here is limited at best and we still do not have a connection in the room. Paul says he's doing just fine.
Back to our story.
After breakfast, we hit the road. Went to Airai to interview Vince Blaiyok, the Airai State Historian.
We drove back to town and stopped at Koror State offices and got our permit for all of our work in the Rock Islands.
Back to the room and worked on permits for Ngatpang. We tried to fax the permit to them, but due to scheduled power outages, Ngatpang's office was power free so the fax machine was inop. The only way to get it there was to hand deliver. How convenient - we wanted to look at Ngatpang Hill a bit.
We delivered the permit request and then headed to the Hill. Pat said we'll just walk the ridge road a bit. I should have known better. Pat wanted Mark, our land ops leader to get the lay of the land. I headed out in shorts and sandals just so I could get some photos of the team.
After a few hundred yards, down into the jungle Pat went. And a rain storm started. And my sandals and attire were not quite what I really needed. So I returned to the car, with Katie as my buddy for safety purposes, got into appropriate togs and headed back out. Got to the top of the hill and radioed to the team to see where they were. Just heading into the jungle is just exercise if you don't have a plan. The response was, turn left and we're in the jungle. Okay, not really precise. So, waited on the road and the team came back. We headed down the hill and home.
Stopped for the first milkshake at the bridge Bem Ermii. Hmmmmm, mocha. Headed home, cleaned up, debriefed out to dinner and sent some folks to pick up Rick, our last team member to arrive.
However, no Rick. He wasn't on the Continental flight. Well, we'll check email and find out what happened to him. However, I could not get any emails into my computer. The meter said 0 kbs/s were coming in. For a long time. I looked around at the other cafe users and every kid had two IM windows open, downloading tunes, playing games AND texting on their cell phones. Too many people, not enough bandwidth. So to bed I went.
This morning at breakfast, there was Rick. Seems his itinerary wasn't what even he thought it was. He arrived at 0430 on China Air via Taipei. Seems his travel agent didn't give him his itinerary until late in the game and the 18 hour layover in Taipei was hidden from him. But at least we now know there is a new airline in town.
And now we're getting our full mission briefs out of the way.
We started with a review of all the pertinent records that Mark, Katie and everyone else have found and analyzed. Mark gave us a blow-by-blow of how he has come to his conclusions. It took a long time. But a good long time. Then he presented his mission plan for the ground ops for this year's time in Palau. He has put a few years of thought into his plan, and it shows.
We have a chance to find the burial site of the executed airmen, frogmen and missionaries. However, that will happen on Monday. The briefing was so thorough that we do not have time to go up on the hill today. And tomorrow, Sunday, we'll be in the water. So we'll just have to bite our tongues.
We now have a chunk of free time. Some folks are going to Neco Marine to check in and stow their gear. Others are making a food and water run. I'm at the Internet Lounge across the street watching every little byte slowing cross through the network wire. Honestly, a 4kb message took two minutes to load. I'm sorry but as much as I like all of you, large size file photos may just have to wait until after the mission is over. And then the power went out on the island.
The electrical infrastructure in Palau is being overloaded. The islands are being forced to have scheduled black and brown outs so that everyone can have some power every day. The power station for Babelthuap and Koror cannot power both at the same time.
So, after 20 minutes, the power came back. Maybe I can get some email in and out as all the kids left. No patience. Ok, back in a flash.
So I had ripping Internet for 15 minutes. Then everyone came back online and I'm down to 0-15 kbs/sec. Mostly 0-1. So, at least I checked and now I can breath a little easier.
We had sunset at the PPR (Palau Pacific Resort). Probably the prettiest place for sunset that is easily accessible.
If you don't bring your significant other here for sunset, I'm telling. That's it for our story. We're going diving tomorrow and I'll tell you about that later.