04 March 2009
Being busy and having bad Internet bandwidth isn't conducive
to good coordination of days/reports. But Molly and Flip keep 'em coming!
Aaah, an update! So much easier now.
Today so far has been a sleepy day for me. I can tell the intense schedule,
the heat and activities have caught up with me. First, though, our first
breakfast without Mark and Warren. Sadness for sure and it was really
quiet. Dunno if it was lack of chatter back and forth between Mark and
Katie all the time (Mark is just a funny guy!and both like to tease each
other too) but the void was obvious.
Mini split ops today - Paul and Pat went up Ngiwal to visit the chief
of staff of the president (WAY COOL) and interview an elder with some leads
regarding a possible MIA in his neck of the woods.
The rest of us went on the water today to do Side Scanning Sonar. Yippeeee!
Yeah, I fell asleep promptly. It just zones me right out (especially in
my baseline sleepy state) and all I pick out is cartoon characters when
I look at it. I guess it's not for me. But I did muster enough energy
to dive a Japanese Zero plane though...then I went back to sleep for
a bit more. Good day of rest in between jungle days. The last jungle day
we had a few days ago I think was a good hike on sharp, loose rock
coral that kept going up and up and up...and on some ledges too, where
you would NOT want to fall off. I had Flip behind me repeating "Think
happy thoughts....think happy thoughts..." on the way up to himself, and
I really didn't care about Poison tree at that point.
Anyway, back to today and SSS: we are trying to become better at working
at it to we can detect planes better (we didn't do a good job trying to
detect the planes we knew the location of today) but I get a big fat F
North of Babeldaob- SO pretty.
Trolling for an airplane.
Jolie and I.
Paul getting hugged against his will at Neco by Wil and Flip.
[This was retribution for Paul's stealing the car keys.
Paul wouldn't mind being beaten up, but hates "man-hugs."
Flat tire incident.
Flip on side-scan sonar.
[No, that's Flip's SSS-Darkroom-Pod, not a Palauan colostomy. In 2000,
when we used a magnetometer, Greg Kovacs achieved the same effect
by climbing into a big black garbage bag with his laptop computer. - Reid]
Police Hill GPS/ Vince's finds.
It finally happened. The Internet was turned on in our room. After a
long time trying to
make this happen, it's happened. They had to run a new phone line in,
through an air
conditioning unit, over three closets, the kitchen cabinets and three
doors. Then they
made us get a UPS before they would put the DSL box in place. Now we
have lots of
little lights blinking at us and I can type and send from the comforts
of my bedroom.
We had some split ops today. Three of our folks went up to Police HIll
one final time. In
our mission scrub, we determined we needed clean GPS points. Paul,
Mark and Wil
went back up and finished the job. Sorry, no photos.
We went with Vince who is the historian of Airai State. A hunter told
him of an airplane
wreck onto of a rock island as well as one in the water at the bottom
of this island. And
since Vince was willing to take us, we were willing to go. The hunter
was supposed to
go with us but he couldn't make. I am usually suspect of this but
since Vince was going
to lead us, I was willing to go. We picked up Vince and a friend
of his, took a little boat
ride and then took them back to the dock. Seems they needed to go
get their hiking
boots if they were going to come with us.
We did a little side scanning sonar searching in about 10-20 feet
of water off of the
island. We suck at this stuff. Then Molly, Warren and Rick went
over the side to take a
peek. This was Molly's first low viz diving and she did not like
it. After she got out of the
water we told her it was crocodile country. She really did not
Vince came back and we headed to an easy let in point for this
island. Vince is trying to
build the island into an eco-tourism spot. He's building trails
past the Yap Stone Money
quarry and hopes to bring tourists in to support his state. How
convenient that the
current steps and trail takes us some of the way in. We also
had a guest with us. Jolie
Liston loves us. We go hiking where no one else generally goes.
We show her modern
stuff and she shows us ancient stuff. She has to do a survey
of this island later in the
year so going with us certainly helps her out.
We climbed up to the top of the ridge and started walking.
I must tell you that climbing
up steep, jagged, crumbling coral hills is not my idea of fun. I kept singing
song and put myself in a happy place. All this is kind of funny as I am
only scared of
heights when I am attached to the ground or structure. If I am flying,
or when I was
skydiving, this is not a problem. And I have no problems going down hill.
Only up hill.
Once at the top, I could relax. We hiked along the ridge and only discovered
survey markers and a water bottle.
Vince isn't happy with his hunter friend so he is going to call him
and get some better
information for us.
Stone Money was used as dowrys in Yap. The only problem was
Yap did not have the
stone to make Stone Money. So they came to Palau and quite an extensive
system here. The probably hiked the same ridge as we did.
This is the island we went up and that high ridge is what we hiked.
Out to dinner at The Taj which has been great over the years and is rapidly
our favorite team dining spot. A few restaurants have gone out of business
past year. Tourism is down a little and Palauans are not going out
to eat as much.
We're told there are a few more establishments that are teetering on
Here's Molly serving our flaming chicken.
That was all we did that day. Hiked our hearts out but did not see a
tomorrow will be better.
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