I'm A Yacht Club Member

Tonight I joined the Kwajalein Yacht Club.

My coworker runs the KYC Happy Hour so I had some inside information about it and I've been attending for the last two Thursdays. This evening I joined the club...here is a quote from the Commodore taken from the KYC website:

The Kwajalein Yacht Club is not just for sailors but for those who love the water and love to socialize with others who love the water. We are a family and singles friendly organization, and welcome new members. The Yacht Club is located along the shoreline with a beautiful view of the lagoon and sailboat mooring field. It is a great place to hang out with friends and drink a cold beverage of your choice.

We had a feast tonight. The food making is done by volunteers and man did we eat good. It was a smorgasbord of great Mexican food; very enjoyable. Thank you to tonight's chef's.

I referred to one of their event's, the Swashbucklers Ball in one of my older posts. I can't wait for this event but there is another one, The Commedore's Ball coming up next month, it's a formal dress party. These two events are on the opposite spectrum from each other but both look to be a ton of fun.

Tomorrow is a full day of snorkeling and sailboat racing so I will be sure to post some pics. That is after my nap because that's a lot of activity for one day. I'm pretty sure Monday will be a lazy, lazy day for me. (Remember, we are on the other side of the dateline from the U.S.)


I Passed My Test

I am now Security+ Certified!

CompTIA Security+ validates knowledge of systems security, network infrastructure, access control, assessments and audits, cryptography and organizational security.

I've wanted to get this one for awhile now and in my new job it's a requirement; just the inspiration I needed to get it done

Now I'm headed to the Yacht Club to celebrate! Cheers!


My First Snorkeling Experience

Rebecca Snorkeling

I was invited to go snorkeling today, there is a group that gets together every week about the same time and goes. I was very excited to get the opportunity after only being on island for less than a week. It was a lot of fun! I didn't go very far from shore, maybe a couple hundred feet at the most. There is so much salt in the water it was really easy to float.

This was really my first salt water experience and it was strange to have salty water in my mouth. Before this, my only real ocean experience was the Oregon Coast. While it's very beautiful the water is so cold it makes you bones ache so I have never been swimming in the ocean before. We usually spend the entire summer on the lake in Montana so I'm used to freshwater.

I have to say I love the waterproof camera, it was worth the extra money. Here are a few shots from today:
More Fish
Still More Fish
I of course missed the best shots of the most colorful fish....being the first time I've snorkeled and the fact that I was coordinated enough to get any pictures at all makes me happy.

I'm doing well, I enjoy it here. I can see myself being here for quite awhile, if I can get JF out here. If not, I'll be headed back right away, I really miss him.


I Made It To Kwajalein!

I made it!
I am so happy to finally be at my destination.

Tonight I got reconnected to the internet and I'm still getting settled into my quarters. I now live in a hotel room basically. I've met more people than I can remember and I have a lot of new information floating around in my head. There has been a ton of paperwork; it's like applying for a regular job - on steroids!

The cat is doing well. Earlier he found a little lizard in the room to play with. I'm not doing too bad with the weather. It is very humid and windy and when the wind stops, it gets unbearably hot. I've been slathering on the 50 proof sunscreen and I still have some color already. I definatley need more shorts! I'll get more pics posted soon but I'm exhausted. I'm still trying to adjust to the time difference.

I think this was a good choice and I don't think we'll have too much trouble getting JF out here. It will take time...but I think we can get it done.


We Made It Safe And Sound

Rick and I arrived in Hawaii and all is well. He made it to the Animal Port, not quarantine and I'm off to try and soak up a bit of Hawaii before I head out first thing in the AM.

We've had some luck. I'm glad for that. It took forever, almost two and a half hours but oh well. They almost charged me an extra $200 but we got it figured out, decimal points, they'll get you every time.

I would say the cat definitely complicated things. This would have been a piece of cake if I were not bringing the cat. And a hell of a lot less expensive but I just couldn't see letting him go. What does that say about the dog? I let him go in a heartbeat! Sorry Blue, you were a cutie but I wouldn't have gone through all this for you!

Oh and feel free to give me crap for being such a geek. The very first thing I did when I got to my room was post this entry. I'm off to get some food and check out the island. YAY!

Second Leg of the Trip Under Way

I've been up since 4:30 this morning and I didn't get my first cup of coffee until 7:30! Yikes.

I actually showed up at the airport 30 minutes before the ticket counter opened. I wish they would post that information on your documents. The lady at the ticket counter said she was glad I was early and was amazed at how organized I was....I can't imagine what a mess it would be if you weren't. I'm glad too...it makes my own life easier.

Rick and I got separated awhile ago, I wish I could have him with me. I've gotten several comments on what a relaxed cat he is, the airline even asked if he was drugged. Nope, he's just cool.

I can't wait til I get to see him again.


First Leg of the Trip Complete

Rick James and I (that's the cat in case you missed it) made it to our destination in Oregon in 10 hours. That's great time. What a trooper. I really think I have the coolest cat in the whole world. For the most part he curled up in my lap and slept but for awhile he was sitting on the carrier watching the world go by. He was not happy in the crate.

Watching the world go by
He walked into my Mom's house like he owned it...no hesitation, no acting weird or nervous. What a cat.


I'm A Lucky Girl

I had a nice time tonight. We went to dinner at our favorite restaurant and met up with some friends.
Dinner with friends
It's such a bittersweet celebration, on one hand it's great to see everyone and have a good time and on the other...I have no idea when I may see them again. I'll take it though, as I mentioned a few posts back, I'm not good at developing intimate relationships so its a special treat that I have such good friends now in my life. Ironic I'm leaving but that's the way it seems to go for me.

I got to test out the new camera and I'll have to change some settings for sure. The flash just about set the wall on fire tonight and the resolution is like "Wowee-wow-wow" - something like 8000 x 8000 pixels, it's a bit much. I've got two 7 hour flights coming up in which to learn about it so I think we'll be good to go by the time I get there.

Tomorrow.....the departure.

Is It Here Yet? Is It Here Yet?

I ordered a camera for this adventure. JF and I have been sharing his. A little reluctantly on his part I might add. ;) He let me borrow it when I went to Peru but piped up the other day with, "I hope you know you're not taking my camera to Kwajalein!". LOL!

I've been meaning to get one anyway. Since before Peru. The one I had was about 12 years old and won't take more than 2 or 3 pictures without dying even with a brand new battery in it; which I can't get anymore.

After much research and due to the amount of water I'll be exposed to on a regular basis, I opted for a waterproof camera. I decided on the OLYMPUS Stylus 1050 SW Blue 10.1 MP 2.7" 230K LCD 3X Optical Zoom Waterproof Shockproof Digital Camera. It's got all of the functionality of our current camera, it's actually got a higher resolution. It's going to be so weird to put a camera in the water. It goes against everything I've been taught about cameras. It's good to 10 feet so I can take it snorkeling. Yay!
Waterproof Camera

**Update** UPS just delivered it! Sweet!


Reality Sinking In

OK, so I'm moving 5,343 miles away from home; on Friday.

I've never been very attached to anything or anybody in my life. I tend not to cultivate deep relationships and learned long ago not to get attached to things as they can be taken away at any time. I'm suddenly realizing, at the last moment just how much I'm giving up for this adventure.

Yea, it's temporary, and yea, it's an incredible experience but I am already sad and missing JF so much I can hardly stand it. That's really the only part of this whole thing that gives me doubts or makes me second guess my choice. And I'm surprised by it. I had no idea I would feel this strongly about it and I haven't even left yet!

You learn something new everyday and sometimes its about yourself.



Last night's Aloha Party was a rousing success. We all had a really fun time and I got to see some people that I haven't seen in a really long time.
Aloha Rebecca

Me and JF kicking off the party


Afraid For My Cat!

Now I'm worried.

I contacted the guy in charge of the Animal Port at the airport in Honolulu today and he's got me kind of worried. His exact words were "You've got the worst possible flight plan for getting a pet to Kwajalein".

AAAUUUUGGGHHH!!!!! I did not want to hear that.

When flying into Hawaii the way I am (on the airline I'm on and not immediately connecting to another flight) he said that the airline will assume you are staying and will take your pet directly to quarantine which I do not want no matter what. Once they go in they never come out. (not quite but almost)

I'm hoping he's being overly dramatic but I need to stay alert and make A LOT of calls to try and keep this from happening.

Has anybody out there used the Animal Port and did you have any trouble getting your pet there instead of quarantine? Has anyone had a pet mistakenly go to quarantine and can share what happened? I thought just flying him was the hard part, I had no idea this could be a problem. Ugh.


Organization Absolutely Necessary

I now have a dedicated binder with all of my paperwork for this adventure in it. It's got travel orders, cat paperwork, itineraries, permits, licenses, forms,and receipts, a few random other documents; some in triplicate! And more is arriving every day.

I was just contacted by the company organizing the shipment and storage of my items. I'm getting lucky with the timing of the shipment, I guess there is a barge heading out the week after I leave and it is scheduled to arrive in Kwajalein 21 days later. My friend that went out a few months ago didn't see his belongings for over 3 months!

I'm getting there. The pieces are falling into place one at a time.


Tickets In Hand

I now have the plane tickets in my hand. I will be leaving from the Portland, OR airport on the 15th of February. There are a couple of reasons for leaving from Portland rather than from the local airport here. The main reason is the cat. And the other is so that I can see my Mom before I head out.

I was fortunate enough to get some advice from someone who recently transported their cat with them to Kwajalein. The more times you transfer planes the more difficult it is. The smaller the planes you fly on, the more difficult it is. Unfortunately the largest plane out of Helena is not much bigger than a bus and I was looking at at a minimum of 4 plane changes from here to Hawaii. After doing some checking, I found I could get one large plane from Portland to Hawaii with no extra stops. Since my Mom lives in Portland, I thought I could kill two birds with one stone.

This requires that I drive 10 hours from here to Portland but I've done that enough times and it adds to the adventure. I've never done it with a cat though, that adds an interesting factor to the mix. My little buddy is in for the adventure of his life too.

So, Friday the 13th (ironic huh?) at 8am JF will drop me off at the car rental place and I'll be off on my Kwajalein Adventure!

The 14th will be spent visiting with my Mom and then I'll fly from Portland to Honolulu on the 15th. I'm going to have about 12 hours in Hawaii before I take off on the final leg of the flight to Kwaj. My arrival will be noon on the 17th but they are a day ahead so technically I'll be there on the 16th. I'm curious how that time discrepancy is going to affect me. It's 5 hours earlier than at home so it won't be noon on the 17th but 5pm on the 16th to me.