And the hits just keep rolling on in

A less than auspicious start to our stay in Yap, albeit entirely my fault on one part, and the airline’s on the other part.  But before going into that, I was neglectful of the blog yesterday.  That is because it was a mostly lazy day.  Since we weren’t on the boat and diving, my ankle decided that it was time to start to get stiff and swell up again.  Oh joy.  Thankfully we purchased the new ankle brace on the 29th, and I was able to slip that on before we headed to breakfast.

The Rock Island Cafe owners/operators are Adventists, so they close the restaurant from 6 pm on Friday evening until 6 pm Saturday evening.  Because of this, we went to breakfast along with Matt and Jodi to the Anthias Cafe.  Of course it was appealing due to its play on our love for underwater critters, but it is very conveniently situated, and is very pleasant inside.  The free wifi was more than a wee bit slow, but we did have our own wifi cards for things that we needed.  After that, we went to the Coffee Berry Cafe for espresso, a bagel (one egg was a little too little breakfast for me), and more wifi of better bandwidth and speed.  

We returned to the DW shortly after 10, and then proceeded to walk to the Belau National Museum.  I was protected not only by sunscreen, but also by my umbrella shielding the sun.  There was an exhibit commemmorating the partnerships between Palau and Germany on display in the gallery which was very nice to walk through.  Palau has had quite a beleaguered past, occupation by the Spanish, German, Japanaese and US, down to the current Compact of Free Association.  Through it all, the Palauans remain gracious and generous, and welcoming to all of us tourists.  Amazing.

Lunch was at Okeanos, after which we walked back to DW again.  I was going to write in the blog, but a nap front moved in with lethal speed…

After the nap, we walked down to visit a newly constructed hotel (the Island Paradise Resort Club) run by a businessman from Taipei.  The building started several years ago, and then there was a fairly suspicious fire that gutted the complex.  It has since been rebuilt, and is now open for business.  The front desk manager, Jen, is a very pleasant Chinese woman who has spent extensive time traveling and living in Hawaii, Texas, Louisiana and Pennsylvania.  She definitely has a wicked sense of humor, and she gave us the email address of a point of contact for booking next year.  Of course, I subsequently misplaced the email address, so I will have to get it from Jodi.

We passed by the former Peace Corps building, which now appears to be a dive shop.  The Peace Corps closed its doors in Palau in August 2014 after the program determined that Palau graduated from a high need for Peace Corps services.  Sad sigh here.  If ever there were a place to go in the Peace Corps, it would have been Palau!!!  Nothing against Costa Rica or Mongolia, mind you.  

Dinner was light fare at Kramer’s, followed by the walk back to DW and a short nap before our flight to Yap.  We arrived early in Yap (the landing is as short and impactful as always), at 2 am.  We were greeted after going through customs, and brought to the hotel.  It is as pleasant as I remembered last time.  We were given the two deluxe ocean view rooms, complete with our own dipping pools outside our rooms - with privacy shades no less!  But, as I said, I had a less than auspicous start to the Yap trip.  I had left my iPad in the seat pocket, and I ran frantically to the front desk to inform them of my idiocy.  They called United, and sure enough, there was my iPad right where I had left it, seat 21C.  The staff retrieved it later in the morning, and I had it by breakfast time.

The second issue was my camera housing.  After 15 months of traveling and diving with my MDX-RX100/II housing by Sea & Sea, I opened up my suitcase, and pulled out the housing and its wrapping/cushion.  It was sheared in half.  Both Wayne and the camera shop owner here say that it is a manufacturer’s defect most likely, as it broke by the two plastic toggles holding in the door screws.  We shall see what happens when I get home.  I’m crossing my fingers that it’s covered.

Wayne and I finally went to sleep at 3:30 am, and got up for the day at about 7:30 am.  Our dive time was 10:30 am, and we were set for three dives.  We checked in our gear, did our waivers, I secured a rental camera, and then it was off to breakfast on the Mnuw.  We met up with Matt and Jodi at close to 10 am, and we were off on our three tank adventure day.