Daily Log Report for
Submitted by Richard Pyle
|Ken, Lisa and I (with
the help of Sara) were up late, frantically trying to
pack all of our equipment for our departure early this
morning. We somehow managed to cram all of our stuff in
the same number of packages we had brought it in (11 for
Ken and I, plus 3 for Lisa), all of which were just slightly
over-weight... After a short nap and early rise, we
hauled all the gear into Pat's boat (photo at right) and
cruised through the Rock Islands towards Babeldaob -- the
island where the airport is. Upon arriving at the dock on
Babeldaob, we lugged all the gear up to a waiting
"hut", where we persuaded the driver of the
government-operated shuttle to transport us and all of
our gear to the airport.
After checking in and paying the excess-baggage fees, Ken, Lisa and I cleared immigration and waited for boarding time. As the plane left the runway, it banked out over the ocean toward Augulpelu Reef. I could see the spot where we had made most of our dives (shown in red on the photo at right), and I thought about how much still remains to be explored here in Palau, and elsewhere in the tropical western Pacific. I leaned my seat back, sipped some ice water, and reflected on what was clearly a very successful expedition. A great deal of work awaits me back in Hawaii; not the least of which is helping with the Ocean Planet exhibit at the Bishop Museum, which opens May 24th and will feature this expedition. I also have promised my academic advisory committee that I will put these sorts of expeditions, and all of my involvement with coral-reef Twilight Zone exploration, on a "back burner" while I finish up my Ph.D. research over the next two years. Although I fully intend to keep this promise, as I drifted off to sleep, I couldn't help but think about the many exploration expeditions yet to come.
These daily reports made possible through the generous support of Toshiba America.
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