P-MAN XIII Update #02 - First Water Day

Friday February 4, 0500

Yesterday was our first water day. It was one of those days where we try to get the bugs out of everything. Sometimes, literally.

Boats are fired up, side-scan sonar equipment is strewn all over the decks. Coils of towfish cables are everywhere. But when it’s all said and done, a switch is flipped and data regarding the location of -- or lack of - “things” lying on the bottom of the Philippine Sea starts to flow across our computer screens. Instead of the hustle and bustle on board getting things ready, all eyes are focused on searching for that one anomaly on the sea bottom that we can classify as a potential target for a future dive. During these times, the crew is totally focused on the mission. It’s a cool thing to be a part of.

One has to physically tear one's eyes away from the screens, and take a minute to watch the jungle-draped cliffs slide by, or to watch the distant tropical rain storm come closer, or to view fruit bats gliding through the trees.

At the end of this first day, we had picked out one new potential hard target, we found one sunken wreck that was already known about, and one new wreck that has revealed itself after 60 years for the first time.
That was satisfying - almost as satisfying as having to go rescue Rick and Joe from being stranded north of Koror Town when their motor quit on them. It’s always good for them to eat a little humble pie as they bob on the waves, waiting for a rescue tow.

Today’s another side-scan day, but with a lot more sun screen applied to myself than what I put on yesterday.

Paul Schwimmer

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