2009 BentProp Progress Report # 16

P-MAN XI Update #16 - Warren and Mark depart; Paul steals car keys
03 March 2009

Warren and Mark have departed Palau, leaving great sadness in their wake. Molly has discovered what it's like to crank out an update report at the end of a LONG day.

From Molly

03 March

Update...well, a mini one. 'cause I am soooo tired. But we have Internet, finally! Warren and Mark must have been the sacrificial lambs though...it works the day they leave and what a sad day for all of us. I know it's been only 2 weeks together with most of us newbies to Palau and to each other, but boy, have we all bonded so it was really hard to see them go. They left LATE tonight (well, they are still at the airport as I type) early am 3/4. A few of us stayed awake to get them to the airport on time to wish them safe travels. Their last dinner was at Krämers for Spaghetti night where Mark was going to attempt to eat three plates of spaghetti to get his dinner paid for on the house...hmmm.....we all couldn't wait for the attempt! Unfortunately though, Krämers ran out of Spagetti.....only 2 plates and bread consumed....which is still a lot so I think mark will sleep well on the plane tonight.

Today we went up to the north end of Palau to try to find an airplane spotted by a Palauan. The water was a bit different due to the differences in the reef depth and the water was phenomenal....so many hues of blue and turquoise. Pat even pointed out a green cloud on the trip up. No airplane though...bummer. Lots of coral reefs, some shark, turtles and sting rays - what six of us did was troll along the boat looking for a plane but no plane. Oh, and I almost forgot the dolphins! Lots of them!

OK, I am literally falling asleep on my keyboard. Better updates to come!

From Flip

01 March

I've gotten a little behind with my updates. Mostly due to being pooped and knowing that I would need extra time to get it out past the Internet guards here in Palau. But now I have keyboard in hand and know that with the press of a button, when I get this done, it will be on its way.

Today was our first scrub day. This is when we go over all we have done to date and compare it to our goals and plans from before we started. The vast majority of the scrub was Mark taking us through all the conclusions he has for the execution sites. It did bring us to the conclusion that we needed one more day on Police Hill to nail down GPS coordinates and site descriptions. A new tactic has evolved to take care of this. Two folks will walk into the jungle to each of the points of interest. When they take the GPS point, they will radio to a third person outside of the jungle who will act as scribe.

Mark is now tasked with writing up a report including all of the justifications of his conclusions along with supporting documentation.

Rick went over his SSS plan. We all thought it would be easier than it has turned out to be. The key to side scanning sonar is a well trained operator. We are learning the ropes. We thought we had it nailed, but have come to the conclusion that we need more training to become more adept at this stuff. So, rather than think of the rest of our days as searching with SSS, we are training with SSS. The more we do, the better we will become. And if we happen to find something along the way, even better.

Then we found out that our old Palauan friend Abby was available to chat with us. He has given Pat three good leads in the past so we wanted to make sure we found him since he has another lead. We raced to where he keeps his boat and sure enough, he had a good lead. Seems he speared a grouper way up north and it was under the wing of an airplane in about 30 feet of water. He said he would go with us to show us, but only after we tried to find it with Joe. So we made plans to do just that.

We went to Sam's for sunset and ran into Dave and Margie of Bandidos fame. A good reunion and met some friends of theirs. When we started to get hungry, we debated about where to eat. Everyone wanted to go to The Taj, but some of us did not want to eat at all at that point. So we elected to save The Taj for the next night and just get a steak at The Palm Bistro.


Everyone hopped into the vans and off we went. But not all of us. Seems that Paul drove one of the vans to Sam's, but left in the other. With the keys to the other van still in his pocket. Not sure which is funnier: that he did that or how long it took the other folks to figure it out. They hiked to dinner and beat the snot out of Paul. Okay, they really just gave him a hug since he doesn't seem to like man hugs.

03 March

Today we got an email from Nancy and Tommy Doyle (see report # 15). We got the word as we sat down at the end of a day of searching without any results. To say this is good news is an understatement of the grandest proportions.


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