2009 BentProp Progress Report # 11

P-MAN XI Update #17 - Molly and Flip - SSS, stone money
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!

From Molly

04 March

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 for assistance.


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." - Reid]

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]

From Flip

02 March

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 like that.

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 my happy
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 some
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 village
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 becoming
our favorite team dining spot. A few restaurants have gone out of business during the
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 the edge.

Here's Molly serving our flaming chicken.

That was all we did that day. Hiked our hearts out but did not see a thing. Maybe
tomorrow will be better.


Return to Progress Reports Index