P-MAN XIII Update #20 - Mud by any other name is still mud. Pat arrives.
After a few days on the sidelines I’m back out where a Marine needs to be - in the mud. For the last few days I’ve been completing my SCUBA Open Water (plus) certification in the mornings and taking care of some administrative and glad-handing duties in the afternoons. Nine dives, 18 mask removals, and 2 bloody noses later, I’m back on the “A” team with Warren, Derrek and Joe in the mangroves looking for more identifying objects on a crash site on Babledaob.
First we had to get a few more food options as the rest of the team is starting to arrive. It has been decided that the others will not be as satisfied with the diet of Corn Pops and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on which we have be subsisting. Then we were off to interview a local gentlemen who saw the Marine Corsair crash into the mangroves that we will be looking for today. All is confirmed as we thought: 1) the Corsair went into the mangroves in the manner that we expected, and 2) nobody sane ever ventures into the groves.
So the 4 of us not-so-sane individuals headed off into the mangroves. A few hours of battling the mangroves seemed unproductive as we swept west, then south, and then north. But just as the sun was getting low and we were about to head out, we all suddenly started finding lots of aircraft parts. Unfortunately none yielded the serial numbers or identifying features that we need, so we will have to revisit the site when we have more time...and energy. The mangroves are so thick that by the time we got out, an observer would have thought that we had just completed an Iron man triathlon, if it hadn't been for all the mud on our bodies.
A quick stop at Bem Ermii for dinner, and we stopped by Sam’s Tours to get some coordinates for a deep-water crash site of a sea plane. More investigation is needed on this target as well, but if we don’t hurry, we’ll miss meeting Pat when his plane arrives.
Off to pick-up Jedi Scannon at the airport. The theater commander is now on deck. A few Roosters and a lot of stories later, we’re back to prep for tomorrow’s dives and get some shut eye.