The Kwaj Crud

Sounds nice huh?

I don't know what it is but that's what everyone says I have. The Kwaj Crud.

Sunday and Monday, I had sore throat, Tuesday my lungs felt tight and since then, I have a very dry cough and I haven't been able to talk ! I sound like a squeak toy, when I can actually get out a squeak.

Very frustrating; I'm a talker.

Cough drops and cough syrup seem to help the most but those aren't really my worst symptoms. Just this stupid lack of voice. Overall I feel just fine. Someone said there is usually a low grade fever with it that you don't notice because it's so warm here.

Fun, I really hope I can talk again soon!

3/30/09 3:00am

I figured out what the crud is. Well, my crud at least.

It's a sinus infection but because of all of the air conditioning around here, there was no "evidence" of it because the indoor air is so dry. The air conditioning system in the BQ's runs 24/7.

After breathing in hot steamy water I was able to break it up enough to get the "evidence" and proceeded to spend about 45 minutes this morning, steaming and inhaling salty water and blowing it all out and guess what!?! I can talk!

Now it's 3am and I'm fully awake but that's ok. I'm glad I figured out what was going on. I wonder if the crud is more prevalent in people who aren't used to air conditioning. Tomorrow I'm going to get some OTC nasal spray and knock this out completely if I can.

It's just so nice to be able to talk, although the only one to talk to at 3am is the cat but he seems to be enjoying it. :)


Enjoying The Island

After snorkeling yesterday I took a ride around the island, checking out stuff that I've passed by but haven't explored yet.

First was the Kwajalein Public Gardens.
Kwaj Public Garden
It was very nice. I'm not sure how it works exactly but I believe if you get a hankering to do some gardening you come here to putz around. There are some beautiful plants in here.
After that I stopped at one of the beaches and found some beach glass. Here is my little collection of found items.
The glass on the left is beach glass found on the shore, the glass on the right was just found randomly on island.

On my way across the island to watch the sun set, I saw this bike parking lot....I couldn't even get all the bikes in the pic.
Bike parking lot
The sunset was beautiful and the sailboat was a nice touch.


Helicopter Ride - Dream Come True

For years I have wanted to experience a helicopter ride. Many years. It's not just something you get to do. When you go somewhere of any distance, it's usually by plane. Helicopters aren't really accessible to the general public.

A few days ago, my dream became reality.
The chopper
I loved it. I can say now that I prefer helicopters over airplanes. What a great experience. This is why I am here. How many jobs have you had where part of your duties entail getting in a helicopter to get from one location to the next? Me neither but I do now!
Me on a chopper
I'm already looking forward to my next helicopter ride. I'm hoping it's a tad longer next time. What fun!
Inside the chopper
It was interesting to me to discover that the seat I chose would have been the gunners seat during war times. My Dad was a gunner. On a much different kind of helicopter though.

Here are a few pictures I got while we were passing over:


Sightseeing Tour

It wasn't intended to be a sightseeing tour, but that's what it turned out to be. We went fishing again and this time not one fish made it into the boat. Not one! There is a whole sea of fishes out there and we didn't snag a one. Well, I guess that's not exactly true. We had one on the line that got away and when we reeled in the rigging to put the poles away we found a piece of a jaw wedged in the lure, I guess we would have had one if it's jaw would have held out. Sorry fish!

Something we did see that made the whole trip worthwhile (for me anyway) was dolphins. Lots of them. Three times we were surrounded by huge pods that swam with us and played along with the boat. It was so much fun. Photographing dolphins is a bit like photographing lightning though, as soon as you snap they are gone. I got a couple of good ones but the highlight was this little video I managed to capture:


Crabs And Sunburns - A Typical Day at the Beach

Today I went out to explore the island in search of a not too crowded beach. There are only a few very small actual sandy beaches here so on the weekends finding one that's not overrun is a bit of a challenge.

I did manage to find one with no one on it on the industrial end of the island. I don't know who's been hanging out there but it was covered in trash and then there was this:
Toilet? Are you kidding?
You don't see that everyday, and I'm pretty glad about that.

I saw lots of crabs today. I saw more than I was able to get pictures of but here are a few:
Crab digging
Tiny crab
Another crab
Dead crab
These white birds are everywhere.
I've heard them called Fairy Terns and White Terns but the story is the same, they mate for life and they lay their eggs right on the branch, no nest, just a crook in the branch. Sometimes they roll off. :(

I tried really hard to keep covered in sunscreen. I'm still pretty white. I'm not Montana white anymore but white none-the-less and I need to keep covered. I did pretty good but I have a couple of odd, random burns in spots I missed. It's inevitable with me.

Here's me enjoying the sun before I got burned:
Happy feet

And here is a random shot showing the wind on the ocean side of the island:
Windy beach


Ocean Fishing

Last weekend was a busy one. After the snorkeling and the sailing I also hopped on another boat the next day and went fishing. If you get together 4 or 5 people, a half day of fishing isn't too expensive and it's a lot of fun too. If you also catch fish it's really worth it.

In order to get out of the lagoon you have to go through SAR Pass which is a really rough section. I couldn't get any pictures because I had to hold on tight to keep from getting tossed out of the boat.

Fishing Boat
Here is the boat we rented

Holding a lure
Chuck showing off one of the lures we were going to use

Bucket of lures
Lure collection

We were surrounded by rainclouds and saw several nice rainbows

Pretty fish
After 4 hours we only managed to get one fish in the boat!

It's called fishing....not catching.

The fish is called an Aku. I have no idea if I have that spelled right....feel free to correct me in the comments. Even though we only got one fish this time, it was fun. I love being out on the water.


Suffering Temporary Insanity (Hopefully Temporary)

I'm in that in between stage where my brain thinks the vacation should be over and it's time to quit screwing around and get back home again.

...Sorry brain, it's not a vacation, we're here for awhile...

It's been all of 18 days now and I like it, but a lot of things are starting to sink in. Like, maybe JF won't get to join me....something I've taken for granted this whole time. Boy would that turn this into a depressing human experiment......

There are times lately when I feel like all is well, I'm fitting in great and then I run across someone that can crush my spirit; just like that. It's no different than anywhere else, I just knew what to expect in my old world.

Mostly I am very grateful to the wonderful, friendly people I have met and appreciate the kindness and openness I've received. I still feel disoriented though, it can't be helped.

I have to admit I'm a bit jealous of the folks that are here with their spouses and significant others, it would make this whole experience completely different.

I miss my boy.


Busy Day Snorkeling and Sailing

Wow was today a ton of fun!

I started out by joining my new snorkeling buddies for an early outing. We went to what they call the Japanese Pools. Back in World War II the Japanese blasted the coral with explosives in order to harvest it for building material. What is left is a series of deep holes (very large holes) close to the shore that you can explore during low tide.

What a great experience. It was so beautiful and the two pools we explored were quite different from each other. At one point I got a little weirded out when I found myself surrounded by pipe fish. They were practically invisible and sort of materialized around me and I had to get out. I couldn't take a picture because they were so hard to see. Maybe it was just the fog on my goggles.

Here are a few shots from the snorkeling adventure:
Snorkeling Buddies
Fish and Coral
Pretty Fish
White Fish
After that, I hopped on a sailboat and joined in the monthly Beer Can Sailboat Race. The race was about 7.5 nautical miles long and involved some fun and interesting sailing. Oh yea! Our boat won!
Boats on the Dock

Boats on the dock before the race begins.

Under sail

View from deck while sailing.

JF and I plan to learn how to sail when he gets out here. I really enjoyed myself today. I got to help a little but for now staying out of the way was my best help.