Sunday, May 02, 2010
Release Date 4/30/2010
I went out for an afterwork paddle. It was a very calm day so I could easily see deep into the water. Even in the Harbor there were huge rocks covered with coral.
I went out toward where our new house is, and then paddled along the coast. I picked up a lot of floating trash. Some of it must have been at sea for a long time. It was covered with barnacles and all the writing on the bottles was in Japanese or Chinese. Many of the floating things had become little islands of life with a crab or two living on it, along with the barnacles and other things. These crabs would be quickly eaten if they were swimming free, but on the trash they have their own little protected ecosystem.
See the picture of the floating nut. There is a crab living on top, and bunch of barnacles, and a school of little fish that live underneath it. All these animals were using it for protection. Kate told me these nuts are used by the local people to do poison fishing. They crush them up, and put the pulp in the reef. It stuns the fish, and they can catch them. I decided not to try and eat one, and left it to the crab and the fish.
I got a great sunset and paddled back in the dark. A big dolphin surfaced right next to me in the dark and gave me a scare.
Truth: It is even more annoying when something goes wrong and you know better.
We went to Rabaul/Kokopo last weekend to entertain some out of town guests. The town of Rabaul was destroyed by a volcano eruption in 1995. The volcano spewed out massive amounts of black ash.
The ash covered the town and it was so heavy that everyone’s roof collapsed, or almost everyone. A few brave souls kept their houses by shoveling the ash off day after day. The town is surreal the streets are covered. It sort of looks like a city after a big snowfall.
I went swimming in the hot water pools near the volcano, but my feet sank into the sand and I got burned by the lava underneath. Ultimate truth for this would be "Lava is HOT, and will mess you up if you fool with it"
We went to General Yamamoto’s old bunker from WWII. It has cool drawings on the ceiling of a map of the World. It’s all in Japanese so it’s hard to see what is what, but it looks like it has Japan at the center and everywhere else out at the fringes.
We also saw some Japanese barges in tunnels. The US heavily bombed Rabaul during the war so the Japanese kept their stuff in tunnels. The barges are on railcars, and then were wheeled into a cave to protect them. The guy who owns the land said the Japanese came back after the war and took the engines away. That’s pretty cheeky. You subjugate the local population, kill a bunch of them, start a big war that causes their home to be destroyed. Lose the war and run away, then come back and later and collect your stuff.
The local museum had a lot of cool WWII stuff. I didn’t have my camera that day, but took a bunch of pictures with my cellphone. That’s me on a WWII steamroller!!
The story accompanying the bomber was interesting. It was shotdown, the one guy who survived went to a Japanese prison camp. After the war, and over 20 years, he came back and found the wreckage, and they put it in the museum. It took him a couple of years to find it.
The other pile of wreckage is identified in the accompanying sign as a "reconstructed" American Corsair. If this their idea of reconstructed, I'd like to see what an un-curated exhibit looks like.