P-MAN XI Update #26
First-timers have all been warned, but still need to experience first-hand the intensity of their reaction to having to leave Palau and their BentProp teammates after a mission like this. It's Molly's turn.
11 March but mostly events on 10 March
Well, I just woke up from my last sleep in Palau, at least for a year....I can't beleive this is my last day here. Katie and Paul left last night so it's just Flip and me. Some errands and a good evening is planned with Dave and Margie (one last taste of those yummy margaritas), seeing Joe and Esther one more time...and my only request (besides seeing everyone) is one last sunset.
Yesterday started with a helicopter ride for Paul, Katie and me and it was really cool to get that perspective of some of the islands. We focused on some areas for future missions - to see if we can see anything at all - but boy, that jungle is thick. We zoomed over the new Allison area ('new' coordinates figured out by Paul with Jolie's old 1946 map) and boy, that area's gonna be Fun in the jungle - thick, steep (bet there's lots of tripping rocks and vines there) and almost mountainous. The new waypoint puts the search area almost a valley over from the previous searches next to a big white banyan tree...on a steep incline almost on top of a really big ridge.
We lost Flip for the day - he went to Sam's to see fish.
Katie, Esther and I met at PPR for lunch for some Girl Time after the helicopter ride - most excellent company and food. I will most certainly miss Esther a lot - she is such a gem (and of course a Palauan Princess). I am lucky, I will be able to see Esther maybe one more time before I leave. :)
Then Katie and I did some errands as much as we could. The power was out on the island for most of the day which makes it difficult! Credit card machines don't work and neither does the post office - luckily though, the power came back on just before the post ofice closed and we were able to mail Warren's and Pat's packages.
At the photo place, we were still on the prowl for new leads and we spotted a Japanese lady making copies of a really really old Japanese book. Further discussion revealed she was visiting an old WWII Japanese soldier who lives with his daughter who speaks English and who has lots of photos. We got this lady's contact info and her father's - we were drooling and had her cornered by the copier. Later though, we learn our 'elder' teamies have interviewed this gentleman before - Yoji Kurata! Sigh. Well, we thought we were onto something new.
Now everyone just hold your breath for the next event - I know you all have been waiting to see if I would actually become nitrox certified and have been waiting on edge..... Well, it has happened!!! I have passed my exam and I am finally "official" to use all the nitrox I want in the future :) Whew, glad that's out of the way.
Then we all hooked up again to have Margaritas with Margie (Dave had to work )- another nummy secret recipe, Joe and Esther came over (and with gifts from Sister Molly and Quint and Doyle - pretty palauan jewelry) and we then went to supper at the Palm Bistro - sigh, the last time there too....at least for a year.
Then it was packing time for Katie and Paul for tonight and I started to organize for tommorrow (how come things don't fit as well on the way back???)
So my teammate withdrawal continues and now Palauan withdrawal.......but if that's the only thing I can complain about....then I am doing really good and just went through an unbeleivable experience...which I hope to continue next year.
Aaaaah! Last day here! (and I still can't add pictures yet)